ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Bausch & Lomb announced today that it has made an equity investment in - and secured an exclusive option to purchase - AcuFocus, Inc., a privately held company located in Irvine, California that is developing corneal inlay technology for the treatment of presbyopia. The announcement was made at the Hawaiian Eye 2007 Meeting held on Kauai, Hawaii and attended by several hundred ophthalmic surgeons.
The AcuFocus ACI 7000™ is designed to treat presbyopia, a condition which affects more than 50 million people in the United States. Presbyopia, a part of the normal aging process, reduces the ability of the eye to focus on near objects. Traditionally, most people with presbyopia have had to use reading glasses to improve their near vision. The AcuFocus corneal inlay is designed to treat presbyopia in all patients, including those who have had cataract surgery, and reduce their dependence on reading glasses.
The ACI 7000 corneal inlay is implanted in the cornea under a LASIK flap in a simple outpatient procedure. The device incorporates technology that increases the patient’s depth of field, thereby improving near vision. The ACI 7000 has been designed to maintain normal corneal physiology and corneal health. The procedure does not involve tissue removal nor does it permanently alter the cornea, so pre-implant vision can be restored if the inlay is removed.
Recent studies have demonstrated that the ACI 7000 improves near vision in patients who previously didn’t require vision correction (emmetropes) as well as those who have had LASIK surgery. Trials are being conducted to study the ACI 7000 in patients with intraocular lenses.
“Current surgical presbyopic solutions involve compromises that can negatively affect the quality of vision for many patients. The ACI 7000 corneal inlay is designed to remove those compromises through a safe and simple procedure,” said Daniel S. Durrie, MD., Principal Investigator. “Moreover, pre-clinical studies performed outside of the United States show excellent early results and high patient satisfaction.”
“We’re truly excited to collaborate with AcuFocus on the development and delivery of their leading-edge corneal inlay technology,” said Henry Tung, MD, corporate vice president and head of global surgical strategy for Bausch & Lomb. “We believe this pioneering technology has the potential to significantly enhance the alternatives available to the large population of presbyopic patients.”
"We believe Bausch & Lomb’s deep experience in the Eyecare field will enhance our technology significantly,” said Ed Peterson, president and CEO of AcuFocus, Inc. “With Bausch & Lomb’s investment, we can accelerate and broaden our efforts to bring this exciting technology to refractive surgeons and their patients.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
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This news release contains, among other things, certain statements of a forward-looking nature relating to future events or the future business performance of Bausch & Lomb. Such statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties including those concerning the ability of the Company and the parties with which it contracts to develop and introduce products successfully as well as the risk factors listed from time to time in the Company’s SEC filings, including but not limited to filings on Form 8-K and on Form 12b-25, each dated November 9, 2006.
About Bausch & Lomb
Bausch & Lomb is the eye health company, dedicated to perfecting vision and enhancing life for consumers around the world. Its core businesses include soft and rigid gas permeable contact lenses and lens care products, and ophthalmic surgical and pharmaceutical products. The Bausch & Lomb name is one of the best known and most respected healthcare brands in the world. Founded in 1853, the Company is headquartered in Rochester, New York and employs approximately 13,700 people worldwide. Its products are available in more than 100 countries. More information about the Company is on the Bausch & Lomb Web site at www.bausch.com. Copyright Bausch & Lomb Incorporated.
About AcuFocus, Inc.
Founded in 2001, AcuFocus has been developing the ACI 7000 and evaluating its safety and efficacy in clinical trials. AcuFocus was spun out of the Innovation Factory in Duluth, Georgia, in 2002, and has been funded by a group of venture firms including Versant, Schroeder, Carlyle Group, Accuitive Medical and Pequot. The company has raised $37.7 million in Series A, B, B1 and C rounds of financing to develop and refine the device.