Lifecore Biomedical, Inc., announced today that it has received an additional approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare to market a new product in the STAGE-1(TM) Single Stage Dental Implant System ("Stage-1") family of products in Japan. The new Stage-1 implant, termed RBM for resorbable blast media surface, features a newer finish texture preferred by some clinicians. It represents a complementary product to the first single stage implant model that Lifecore's Oral Restorative Division began marketing in Japan in January. These approvals follow a similar approval in Korea last September and represent a continuation of the Company's strategy to increase the sales of its products in the Asian marketplace. The new product is expected to begin shipping by the end of the current quarter.
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.
Lifecore President and CEO, Jim Bracke, commented: "We are pleased to be expanding our successful Stage-1 product line in Japan and increasing our penetration of the Asian market. The demographics of the Asian marketplace strongly favor continued growth in implant dentistry".