Carl Zeiss Meditec has entered an agreement to acquire Dutch Ophthalmic Research Center to expand its ophthalmic device portfolio.

As per the agreement, Zeiss will acquire 100% of the shares in DORC from the French investment firm, Eurazeo. Zeiss plans to expand its portfolio of vitreoretinal surgical devices through the acquisition. The acquisition was valued at approximately €985m ($1.07bn) and is expected to close in H1 FY 2024.

The ophthalmic device market is forecasted to grow from approximately $6.9bn in 2023 to $8.4bn in 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.39%, as per a GlobalData market model. The introduction of digital technologies is expected to drive the market growth.

Zeiss will also gain access to the EVA NEXTUM platform – a dual-function system and accessories for vitreoretinal, cataract, and combined procedures. Ophthalmology is the biggest and highest-grossing indication for Zeiss, with the strategic business unit ophthalmology generating €1.58bn in revenue in FY 2022-2023.

“By joining forces with the Dutch Ophthalmic Research Center, we will greatly enhance our ZEISS Retina Workflow and overall portfolios for both posterior and anterior surgery segments, helping to firmly establish our position as a leading solutions provider in the global retinal surgery market,” said Euan S Thomson, head of the ophthalmology strategic business unit and head of the digital business unit for Zeiss Medical Technology.

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In October, the German company signed a long-term strategic collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim for the development of predictive analytics for eye diseases. The partnership leverages Zeiss’ cloud-connected devices and artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted analysis of extensive image data sets to detect markers of early stages of retinal diseases.

This would in turn help to develop accurate treatments for early-stage chronic retinal disease and earlier detection and prediction capabilities to protect vision through new treatment pathways. Boehringer Ingelheim also has a partnership agreement with Surrozen to develop retinal disease therapy.