Abbott Acquires Laser Cataract Surgery Company Optimedica

Lens FragmentationAbbott is to acquire privately held Sunnyvale, California ophthalmic device company OptiMedica Corporation. The acquisition will enable Abbott to expand its vision care business into the femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery market. Abbott will acquire OptiMedica will cost Abbott $250 million, net of cash, plus additional payments totaling up to $150 million upon completion of certain development, regulatory or sales milestones.

Background

The global demand for vision care is on the rise, as the worldwide population ages and the emerging middle class grows in developing nations. Estimates suggest that nearly 22 million cataract surgeries will be performed globally in 2013.

Abbott is among the worldwide leaders in the overall cataract segment with its TECNIS line of monofocal, multifocal, and toric intraocular lenses (IOLs). Cataract-related sales represent approximately 60 percent of Abbott’s vision care sales.

Currently, most cataract procedures are performed manually, with the surgeon making incisions into the eye by hand. OptiMedica’s Catalys™ Precision Laser System is designed to allow surgeons to replace some of the technically demanding manual steps in cataract surgery with a precise, computer-guided, femtosecond laser technology. A femtosecond laser can be used to create anterior capsulotomy, effect phacofragmentation, or make a variety of incisions during ocular surgery.

The Catalys laser system is indicated for use in patients undergoing cataract surgery for removal of the crystalline lens, including performing anterior capsulotomy, phacofragmentation and creating single and multi-plane arc incisions in the cornea.

Additionally, the Catalys laser system’s integrated 3D Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology provides imaging of the anterior chamber of the eye, supporting safe and accurate preparation of the lens capsule for precise positioning of IOLs. Coupled with an intuitive user interface and the minimally invasive Liquid Optics™ patient interface, Catalys is designed with the complete surgical experience in mind.

As if to further validate the technology, only last week OptiMedica Corp. announced that it has been awarded a tender for five Catalys Precision Laser Systems for use in a French multi-center randomized clinical study to compare the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of laser cataract surgery versus manual cataract surgery in 2,000 eyes at five leading academic centers.

The Catalys laser system has both CE Mark in Europe and clearance from the U.S. FDA.

Company comments

“The acquisition of OptiMedica will provide Abbott with an entry point into the rapidly developing laser cataract surgery market,” said Murthy Simhambhatla, senior vice president, Medical Optics, Abbott. “The Catalys laser system provides physicians with a state-of-the-art, computer-guided alternative in treating patients suffering from cataracts.”

Source: Abbott Medical Optics, Image: Optimedica Corporation