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Lens Maker's Stock Price Tumbles on FDA Report

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A panel expresses concern about Staar Surgical's implant for nearsightedness.

October 07, 2003|From Bloomberg News

Shares of Staar Surgical Co. fell 13% on Monday after a Food and Drug Administration panel expressed concern about the company's experimental implanted lens for treating nearsightedness.

On Friday, an FDA advisory panel recommended that the agency approve the device with several conditions, including longer-term patient follow-up exams.

Members of the panel said they were troubled by cell loss in the cornea after surgery. The FDA usually follows its panel's advice.

The committee "was concerned about complications down the road," said CIBC World Markets analyst John Calcagnini, who downgraded the stock to "sector under-perform" from "sector perform" and doesn't hold shares in the company. If the agency approves the lens, many patients will still opt for other treatments, Calcagnini said.

"This is an elective procedure," he said. "You have good options out there," such as contacts, glasses and vision-correcting laser surgery, known as Lasik.

Shares of Monrovia-based Staar fell $1.53 to $10.41 on Nasdaq. The stock had more than tripled in value this year.

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