Lions Eye Institute and RTI Donor Services Expand Strategic Relationship to Maximize the Gift of Tissue Donation

The Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research (LEITR), a nonprofit
organization dedicated to the recovery, evaluation and distribution of
eye tissue, and RTI Donor Services, Inc. (RTIDS), a nonprofit
organization dedicated to providing responsible stewardship of the gift
of tissue donation, announced an expanded relationship to increase
efficiencies in tissue donation and enhance patients’ lives. Through
this relationship, each partner will focus on its core area of
expertise. Beginning November 1, 2018, LEITR will manage all aspects of
tissue recovery services for Florida hospitals in RTIDS’ former service
area and RTIDS will focus specifically on acquiring tissue for
processing and distribution.

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LEITR will now expand from exclusively procuring eye tissue to assuming
responsibility for procurement of bone, skin, heart valves, connective
tissue and veins used in surgeries and medical research at hospitals
throughout Florida. LEITR will reach more facilities, develop new
programs and a deeper level of service benefiting hospitals, health
systems and donor families. The relationship will expand LEITR’s network
to include 189 hospitals and medical examiner offices in Florida and 72
facilities in Louisiana. LEITR anticipates employing many of RTIDS’
professional team of specialists, growing its staff across Florida to
ensure all areas of expertise are covered.

“The progression of this long-standing relationship with RTIDS will
allow us to expand our services across the state in alliance with an
organization that places the patient at the center, which is important
to us,” said Jason Woody, President and CEO, LEITR. “LEITR is proud to
assume responsibility for the careful and dignified procurement of
life-saving and life-enhancing tissue across Florida.”

RTIDS is affiliated with RTI Surgical (Nasdaq: RTIX), a global surgical
implant company. Through this relationship, RTI is transforming its
approach to tissue acquisition to align more directly to its business
and the needs of patients. RTIDS will transition from partially managing
tissue sourcing to wholly relying on its trusted organ procurement
organization partners for its tissue supply. For RTI, it also means
greater focus on advancing current tissue processing technology and
developing new products and implants.

“RTI is focusing on tissue, such as dermis and cartilage, used to
develop unique allograft implants,” said Olivier Visa, President, RTIDS.
“This requires us to be more intentional about what type of tissue and
how much tissue is recovered and processed based on patient need, thus
maximizing the gift of tissue donation to treat more patients.”

RTI has a proud history of tissue innovation and safety, and recently
announced a significant global milestone of providing more than 8
million biologic implants processed through RTI’s proprietary
sterilization processes with zero confirmed incidence of
implant-associated infection. In 2017 alone, RTI distributed more than
600,000 biologic implants—helping surgeons serve patients in nearly 50
countries. RTI’s tissue-based implants are used in surgical procedures
such as anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, meniscus
transplantation, fracture repair, rotator cuff repair, wound coverings,
post-mastectomy breast reconstruction and abdominal wall repair for

Nationwide, life-enhancing tissue is generously donated by approximately
30,000 donors each year, and a single donor can help 75 or more people
improve their lives.1 For millions of Americans, tissue
transplants have relieved their pain, returned their mobility, preserved
their limbs and prevented amputation.2

About the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research (LEITR)

The Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research, Inc., (LEITR) is a
nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to the recovery, evaluation
and distribution of eye tissue for transplantation, research and
education. LEITR’s Eye Bank, located in Tampa, Fla., is one of the
largest combined eye bank and ocular research centers in the world.
Since its inception, it has brought the “Gift of Sight” to more than
130,000 men, women and children worldwide. For more information, visit

About RTI Donor Services

RTI Donor Services, Inc. (RTI Donor Services) is a nonprofit tissue
acquisition agency working in collaboration with the donation community
and healthcare facilities in perpetuating the gift of tissue donation.
RTI Donor Services is accredited by the American Association of Tissue
Banks and affiliated with RTI Surgical, Inc. (RTI Surgical), a global
surgical implant company providing surgeons with safe biologic, metal
and synthetic implants. Both RTI Donor Services and RTI Surgical are
focused on improving the lives of others by maximizing the gift of
tissue donation and providing safe tissue implants for recipients.

1 Donate Life America: National Donate Life Month – April
2018 Donation and Transplantation Statistics. Online at
Last accessed July 26, 2018.

2 Data on file at RTI Donor Services, Inc.

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