The iStent inject Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent has been launched in Australia by Glaukos Corporation. The company has also established a direct sales organisation.
The iStent inject is approved by the Australian Therapeutics Goods Administration for use in conjunction with cataract surgery for the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) in adult patients with mild-to-moderate glaucoma currently treated with ocular hypotensive medication. The system is preloaded with two micro-scale stents that the surgeon places though a single corneal entry point into multiple trabecular meshwork locations using a click-and-release motion. Made from surgical-grade non-ferromagnetic titanium that is coated with heparin, each iStent inject stent is approximately 0.3 mm in diameter and 0.4 mm long.
Numerous clinical studies have shown that implantation of stents with concomitant cataract surgery can help glaucoma patients achieve target IOP levels while significantly reducing their dependence on topical medications, which are often ineffective due to high rates of patient non-compliance. According to results of a comparative case series published in the November 2012 issue of the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, 28 patients who received two trabecular micro-bypass stents in combination with cataract surgery achieved mean postoperative IOP of 13.8 mm Hg at one year, compared to a mean preoperative medicated IOP of 17.3 mm Hg. Over the same period, patients’ mean glaucoma medication use declined from 2.8 to 1.0 medications.
“The iStent inject stents are placed directly into the eye’s drainage canal, restoring natural physiological fluid outflow in a straightforward procedure with an excellent safety profile,” said Dr. Frank Howes, a Brisbane-based ophthalmic surgeon who was the first Australian physician to implant the iStent inject. “The iStent inject represents an important new advancement for effectively managing glaucoma patients’ IOP and potentially reducing or eliminating their need for daily, multi-dose topical glaucoma medications or complex surgeries.”
Glaukos introduced Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) to the Australian market when it launched its flagship iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent in Australia in 2014. With the 2016 launch of its next-generation iStent inject, the company is now increasing its presence in the region with a direct sales organisation that is headquartered in Melbourne and provides full market coverage through account managers in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. The Glaukos Australian team is primarily responsible for training ophthalmic surgeons on the iStent inject procedure and helping these physicians integrate the technology into their practices.