"Dunedin Company Changes Lives" celebrates MOLTENO glaucoma implant milestone - 25th Jul 2016

ODT front page: Roslyn Pearce works on a Molteno glaucoma implant. ODT photo by P. McIntosh.

MOLTENO Ophthalmic staff at the 50th anniversary function featured. ODT photo by C. O'Connor.

A very early Molteno glaucoma implant, used in the 1960s.

Fifty years ago, Anthony Molteno, training to be an ophthalmologist, operated on a toddler with a previously untreatable type of glaucoma (buphthalmos) and inserted the plate implant he had developed. The surgery was successful and his implant transformed the management of severe glaucoma. The Otago Daily Times marked the 50th anniversary with a full-page feature celebrating Anthony Molteno's remarkable career of research and innovation, always focused on the goal of saving sight and making life better for his patients and others all over the world. 

MOLTENO Ophthalmic staff also starred in the article with Production Manager, Roslyn Pearce, photographed at the microscope working on a third generation Molteno3 S-series implant, the most technologically advanced glaucoma implant and a descendant of that very first Molteno glaucoma implant from fifty years ago. Some features of the early implant are recognizable in the Molteno3 implant such as the implant plate that prevents the tissues forming a hard cap of scar tissue over the end of the draining tube and the suture holes used to secure the implant in place. Other features are recent developments, particularly the technologically advanced oval primary drainage area which is unique and has two functions:
  • reduces the risk of hypotony (abnormally low intraocular pressure) and
  • promotes natural anti-inflammatory and fibrodegenerative processes that keep the bleb (the tissue around the implant that drains excess fluid) functioning long term. 

Chief executive, Nina Molteno, reported that the company was "focusing on spreading the word about the high success rate of Molteno glaucoma implants...[and] would continue to support glaucoma research, while also working on new research and development projects..".


Glaucoma surgical skills training at MOLTENO Ophthalmic's RANZCO stand - 3rd Jun 2016

Drs Yu-Chieh Hung, Delia Wang and Mimi Chiu learning a surgical technique at the MOLTENO Ophthalmic stand, RANZCO May 2016 Ophthalmology registrars, interns and nurses had fun developing surgical skills for Molteno and Molteno3 glaucoma implantation at the company's stand at a recent conference in Dunedin:

  • occluding the silicone tube with a 5.0 braided polyglactin suture (Vicryl®),
  • testing tube occlusion using a 30G anterior chamber (Rycroft) cannula and 
  • making a relieving slit (Sherwood slit) in the occluded tube with a 20G corneal/scleral knife (1.3mm V-Lance®).
These surgical techniques, which are carried out under an operating microscope, have been shown to improve success rates and reduce the risk of complications of Molteno glaucoma implant surgery (13, 16). The occluding suture temporarily blocks the flow of aqueous from the eye while the drainage bleb starts to heal, an approach called 'delayed drainage'. At the same time the relieving slit allows aqeous to escape if the IOP gets high while waiting for the polyglactin suture to dissolve. Despite the challenges of working though a microscope, the trainees learned quickly and seemed delighted by their new mastery of the three skills. 

Vicryl® is a trade mark of Ethicon Inc. 
V-Lance® is a trade mark of Novartis.

Molteno3 Glaucoma Implants at RANZCO Conference, May 2016 - 2nd Jun 2016

Ros Pearce and Nina Molteno at the new-look MOLTENO stand at RANZCO The recent RANZCO 2016 conference in Dunedin showcased a new look for the popular and effective Molteno3 S-series glaucoma implant and the launch of updated resources for surgeons. The exhibitors booth showed off the new circular logo and striking photographs of the SS and SL (185 and 245mm2) implants that comprise the Molteno3 S-series implant range.

Conference attendees, a mix of opthalmologists, registrars, ophthalmic nurses, orthoptists and ophthalmic technicians, were intrigued by a display of the Molteno glaucoma implant range dating from the first commercially produced classic Single plate S1 implant, through the era of Double plate devices to the highly evolved single quadrant Molteno3 S-series implants that are as effective as the earlier Molteno Double plate models (2) and easier to implant.  

Ophthalmologists were also updated on new results, including a publication by Dr Juha Välimäki (19) reporting his experience with adding a Molteno glaucoma implant using the 'Piggy-back' technique to provide additional drainage area to a previous glaucoma implant (16 eyes of 14 patients). Dr Välimäki concluded that when a first glaucoma implant didn't adequately control the IOP and the patient had useful vision, implanting a Molteno implant piggy-back "seems to provide a significant IOP lowering [39.4+/-10.4%] with minimal complications".

Productive Sydney Meetings for Senior Managers - 9th May 2016

Maria Ponsford, Nina Molteno and Brad Grills meeting in Sydney, Australia Kestrel Ophthalmics' MD, Maria Ponsford (UK) and MOLTENO Ophthalmic's CEO, Nina Molteno, were hosted by Brad Grills and his team at Designs for Vision (Australia) at meetings in Sydney. Maria and Brad have considerable experience as ophthalmic distributors in their respective countries and shared their insights and ideas about the markets they work in. Nina outlined the research driven evolution of the Molteno and Molteno3 glaucoma implants, from the very first implant with a plate inserted by Anthony Molteno almost fifty years ago to the advanced Molteno3 S-series implant design of today.

After an alfresco lunch it was back to business: lively brain-storming sessions on training and supporting surgeons, registrars and the sales force, ideas for conferences and sponsorship, new opportunities to  support ophthalmic research and young researchers, and setting new targets. The day finished with a tour of the Designs for Vision facility and a chance to meet more of the dedicated staff of the sales, support and service departments.

It was a very rewarding series of meetings with considerable knowledge gained, exciting opportunities developed and new friendships made. 

Master Tool-maker Remembered - 30th Mar 2016

Lance Walters, master tool-maker, 1946-2015 Lance John Walters, master tool-maker of Auckland, is remembered every time one of the immaculate moulds he made for MOLTENO Ophthalmic is set up for the next production run. Lance was involved from the time MOLTENO Ophthalmic first went into the commercial production of glaucoma implants in 1982 until his death in August 2015; thirty-three years of happy collaboration. Lance was a very nice man to work with.
Lance described the moulds he made for MOLTENO Ophthalmic as one of the proudest achievements of his long career and the quality of his workmanship is such that his moulds continue to function perfectly decades after first being used. An entirely independent assessment of glaucoma implants (9) showed that the surface of Molteno glaucoma implants is smoother than any other implants examined, reflecting the quality of Lance's finishing work. 
We remember Lance with great fondness and respect.


MOLTENO Ophthalmic visits JTech Plastics - 5th Feb 2016

MOLTENO Ophthalmic visits JTech Plastics MOLTENO Ophthalmic staff headed out of the city to visit JTech Plastics' manufacturing facility for a fascinating look at large scale injection moulding and mould-making. MOLTENO Ophthalmic has extensive experience with injection moulding tiny, detailed device components in a cleanroom environment, so seeing the sizeable components produced by JTech in their enormous factory building was a huge contrast. The range of polymers available to JTech to use was also a point of difference. The medical device polymer range is small due to the rigorous quality, safety and performance requirements of any medical polymer, particularly those used as implants. 

The moulds made by JTech for their own manufacturing enterprise were very impressive and the preference for controlling the manufacturing process from mould-making to production of finished product is a characteristic that JTech and MOLTENO Ophthalmic share. The staff thoroughly enjoyed the visit and a reciprocal visit is being planned. 


Chief Executive Officer appointed to MOLTENO Ophthalmic Ltd - 13th Jan 2016

Dr Nina Molteno, chief executive. MOLTENO Ophthalmic Ltd is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Nina M. Molteno to the position of Chief Executive Officer, commencing in December 2015. Dr Molteno has a background in medical science and medicine which will be invaluable in her new role. Support for customers, surgeons and distributors is one of the areas that Dr Molteno intends to prioritise for development within MOLTENO Ophthalmic over the next few months.
Dr Molteno is looking forward to working with products of proven excellence like the Molteno® Glaucoma Implant range and the M-Sphere® intraorbital implant and excited by the company's research and development projects. 

Molteno® Ophthalmic Limited
PO Box 6322 Dunedin
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 479 2744
Fax: +64 3 479 2444
Email: sales@molteno.com

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