Abbott to Enter Laser Cataract Surgery Market through Acquisition of OptiMedica
Abbott has announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase OptiMedica Corporation, a privately held, Silicon Valley-based ophthalmic device company. The acquisition will enable Abbott to expand its vision care business into the femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery market. Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott will acquire OptiMedica for $250 million, net of cash, plus additional payments totaling up to $150 million upon completion of certain development, regulatory or sales milestones.
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 has both CE Mark in Europe and clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"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."
The global demand for vision care is on the rise, as the worldwide population ages and the emerging middle class grows in developing nations. Nearly 22 million cataract surgeries will be performed globally in 20131. The average age of a cataract patient is between 65 and 70, and approximately 12 percent of the global population is age 60 or older2.
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.
The Catalys laser system is indicated for use in patients undergoing cataract surgery for removal of the crystalline lens, with the following intended uses:
- anterior capsulotomy (opening of the lens capsule);
- phacofragmentation (softening of the lens nucleus); and
- creation of 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. OptiMedica is dedicated to developing performance-driven technologies that improve patient outcomes.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year and will not impact Abbott's ongoing full-year 2013 earnings-per-share guidance. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust clearances.