AbbVie has announced a strategic alliance with iStar Medical for the further development and commercialisation of the latter’s MINIject device, designed to treat patients with glaucoma.

The minimally invasive glaucoma surgical (MIGS) device has been designed to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) by increasing the natural fluid outflow from the anterior chamber to the supraciliary space.

It combines the distinctive porous structure of iSTAR Medical’s proprietary STAR material with the power offered by the supraciliary space.

Under the partnership deal terms, iSTAR Medical will receive a non-dilutive upfront payment of $60m from AbbVie and be responsible for the development and commercialisation of MINIject until completion of the US Premarket Approval study (STAR-V).

AbbVie stated that the collaboration will support MINIject’s role in glaucoma treatment and expedite its availability to more patients across the world.

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Through this deal, the company will have the exclusive right to acquire iSTAR Medical and lead the global development and roll out of the MIGS device.

If the company executes its rights for the acquisition, iSTAR Medical’s shareholders will receive up to $475m additional contingent payments upon achieving certain predetermined milestones.

Until completion of the STAR-V study, iSTAR Medical will operate as an independent entity.

AbbVie stated that the complementary alliance will allow it to further expand its eye care portfolio and offer additional treatment options for glaucoma patients.

AbbVie vice-president and eye care global therapeutic area head Michael Robinson said: “As a leading company in eye care, with a commitment to a broad and diverse portfolio from the front to the back of the eye, along with our global footprint and infrastructure in glaucoma, we are well-positioned to support bringing this MIGS offering to patients and glaucoma specialists through this strategic alliance.

“This alliance with iSTAR Medical is an important step as we continue to be an innovator in glaucoma by maximising the value of interventional approaches throughout the treatment paradigm.”

In the last quarter of 2021, iSTAR Medical secured CE marking for the commercialisation of MINIject in European countries.

The device was commercially launched in select European countries earlier this year.

At present, the company is enrolling participants in the STAR-V trial, with an aim to commercialise the MINIject device in the US in the future.

Last July, iSTAR Medical received an investigational device exemption (IDE) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commence a clinical trial of MINIject.