Alcon has unveiled its plans to acquire Ivantis, a developer of technologies to treat eye diseases, for an initial consideration of $475m upfront.

The deal will add the Hydrus Microstent, a minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device manufactured by Ivantis, to Alcon’s ophthalmology portfolio.

Hydrus Microstent is an eyelash-sized device designed to reduce eye pressure by reestablishing flow through Schlemm’s canal, the eye’s natural outflow pathway. The device was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in conjunction with cataract surgery.

The MIGS device is also indicated for primary open-angle glaucoma with cataract surgery or as a stand-alone procedure in the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia and Singapore.

A five-year HORIZON clinical trial showed that 65% of patients treated with the Hydrus Microstent remained medication-free up to five years after the implant.

Alcon CEO David Endicott said: “Glaucoma is the second-largest cause of blindness after cataracts, impacting more than 75 million people globally, with significant unmet patient need.

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“This transaction will allow us to add a uniquely effective product into our glaucoma portfolio around the world.

“Our global commercial footprint and development capabilities make us well-positioned to build on the success of Ivantis and help even more patients see brilliantly with Hydrus Microstent.”

Alcon stated that the acquisition of Ivantis will also strengthen its portfolio for retina, cataract, refractive and glaucoma treatments.

According to the terms of the deal, Alcon could make additional payments after achieving certain regulatory and commercial milestones.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions such as regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.