Lifecore Biomedical, Inc. has announced that it has received approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare to market the STAGE-1(TM) RDS Single Stage TPS Dental Implant System ("Stage-1") in Japan. This Stage-1 implant represents the first single stage implant model that Lifecore's Oral Restorative Division will be marketing in Japan. The Company expects to expand its Japanese implant offerings with subsequent approvals.
The current approval follows a similar approval in Korea last September and represents a continuation of the Company's strategy to increase the sales of its products in the Asian marketplace.
The Japanese dental implant market was valued at $69.6 million in 2001 by the Millennium Research Group of Toronto. The market grew 12.3 percent over 2000. While several types of implants are sold in Japan, the TPS (titanium plasma spray) coated implants are the dominant style preferred by Japanese implant dentists. Lifecore's distributor in Japan is the Hakusui Trading Company, Ltd.