IntraLase sues Carl Zeiss

December 1, 2006

IntraLase has filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court for the State of California, US, against Carl Zeiss AG, its subsidiary Carl Zeiss Meditec and certain affiliates.

IntraLase has filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court for the State of California, US, against Carl Zeiss AG, its subsidiary Carl Zeiss Meditec and certain affiliates.

The suit alleges that Zeiss has breached an intellectual property agreement with IntraLase by improperly using confidential and proprietary information which, it is claimed, Zeiss wrongfully induced IntraLase to disclose.

IntraLase is seeking damages for breach of contract and payment to IntraLase of all revenues and profits derived by Zeiss from the sale and use of its IntraLase femtosecond laser.

OSI to part company with Macugen

OSI Pharmaceuticals has announced that it intends to remove itself from the eye disease market by out-licensing, partnering or selling its Macugen (pegaptanib sodium) business.

OSI co-markets the treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the USA with Pfizer, and yet despite year-to-date sales nearing $100 million the company believes that its eye business is not on track to generate a positive cash flow for the period of 2006 to 2008. The positive cash flow had been one of the key strategic goals behind the acquisition of Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Macugen's initial developer.

OSI and Pfizer are currently in confidential discussions to determine the drug's future but both say that they will continue to support Macugen commercially in the near future.

Bayer sees value of VEGF Trap

Bayer HealthCare and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have announced a collaboration for the development and commercialization of the VEGF Trap for the treatment of eye disease by local administration.

The VEGF Trap is curently in Phase I and Phase II trials investigating its effectiveness at binding vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will jointly commercialize the protein outside the US and will share equally in profits from ex-US sales. Regeneron has exclusive commercialization rights for all indications of the VEGF Trap within the US and will retain all profits from such sales.

Financial terms of the agreement state that Bayer will make an upfront payment of $75 million to Regeneron and both companies will share the development costs.

MEEI front of the queue for Eye-Q

The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) has become the first institution in the USA to acquire the Allegretto Wave Eye-Q (Wavelight) LASIK platform.

The Eye-Q system corrects one diopter of near or farsightedness in two seconds, meaning the average treatment time of the LASIK procedure is between just eight and ten seconds. It has been shown that shorter LASIK procedures mean greater patient comfort, reduced healing time and a reduced risk of postoperative infections, over-corrections and under-corrections.

The MEEI is an independent specialty hospital providing care for disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head and neck. It is a teaching partner of Harvard Medical School.

EyeGate finds funding

EyeGate Pharma has secured new funding that will enable it to enter two products into clinical development in 2007.

The new products for severe uveitis and glaucoma use the company's proprietary EyeGate II delivery system which delivers, non-invasively, a constant amount of drug to the posterior chamber of the eye, particularly the choroid and the retina.

Lindstrom joins Refractec

Richard Lindstrom, MD, has been appointed to the board of Refractec, the ophthalmic device manufacturer.

Lindstrom is a highly regarded lecturer, author and surgeon who holds more than 30 patents for design of ophthalmic devices and instruments. Current posts include medical director of TLC Vision and Midwest Surgical Associates, associate director of the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, member of the boards of directors of TLC Vision, OccuLogix, eyeonics and the Minnesota Foundation.

QLT found guilty