Refractive surgery market to reach $4.5 billion by 2009

May 1, 2007

The growing popularity of LASIK and other new innovations in refractive surgery is set to push sales in the global market from $1.3 billion in 2006 to an estimated $4.5 billion in 2009, according to market research firm Kalorama Information.

The growing popularity of LASIK and other new innovations in refractive surgery is set to push sales in the global market from $1.3 billion in 2006 to an estimated $4.5 billion in 2009, according to market research firm Kalorama Information.

The combination of ageing populations, increased incidence of myopia and presbyopia and new technologies such as bladeless LASIK and phakic intraocular lenses are all contributing to market changes not seen since the introduction of LASIK.

According to the research, although acceptance of laser vision correction has been slow, patient satisfaction with LASIK procedures is currently high, anywhere between 92 and 98%. Furthermore the advanced technologies such as bladeless and wavefront guided LASIK are helping to alleviate fears and increase patient confidence.

pSivida has signed a $165 million collaborative research and licensing agreement with Pfizer for its controlled drug delivery technologies in ophthalmic applications.

The two companies will work together on a joint research programme aimed at developing ophthalmic products using pSivida's sustained drug delivery technology, which includes Medidur. Medidur is a small injectable device designed for the sustained release of drugs, which is currently being studied for the treatment of diabetic macular oedema.

Pfizer will fund the cost of the program and in return will gain an exclusive license to market all products developed as a result of this research. Meanwhile, pSivida will receive up to $155 million in development and sales related milestones, and will also be paid a royalty on net sales of the products.

Pfizer has also agreed to invest a further $5 million in ordinary shares of pSivida upon entering into the license agreement, as well as an additional $5 million in pSivida common equity in the future, subject to certain conditions.

Three become one

Acuity Pharmaceuticals, Froptix and eXegenics have executed a merger agreement that will bring the three companies together as one, to be called Opko Corporation.

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, USA, Opko intends to apply for its shares to be listed on the American Stock Exchange. The Frost Group, a private equity group, has agreed to provide Opko with a $12 million line credit and Dr Phillip Frost will assume the position of CEO and chairman.

Acuity brings with it its portfolio of products including the gene silencing agent bevasiranib, which has successfully complete Phase II clinical trials for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Froptix has a number of molecules for the treatment of dry AMD in preclinical development. Opko also plans to develop a range of diagnostic products to complement its ophthalmic therapy portfolio.

AMO completes IntraLase acquisition

Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) has completed its acquisition of IntraLase Corp.

Under the terms of the agreement, AMO has paid $25 in cash per share of IntraLase stock and the individually determined cash value per share of outstanding stock options, totalling approximately $808 million.

The acquisition provides AMO an entry into the corneal transplant market with the IntraLase enabled keratoplasty technology.