Alcon expands leadership position in treating glaucoma through acquisition of Transcend Medical, Inc

  • Acquisition to add minimally-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device to pipeline, expanding Alcon’s surgical presence in a new category to treat glaucoma
  • The goal of MIGS is to reduce or eliminate the need for glaucoma medications 
  • More than 60 million people worldwide are affected by glaucoma which may lead to progressive vision loss[1,2]

Basel, Switzerland, February 18, 2016 - Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Transcend Medical, Inc., a privately-held, US-based company focused on developing minimally-invasive surgical devices to treat glaucoma.

Transcend Medical, Inc. has recently developed a micro-stent to treat mild to moderate glaucoma. The MIGS device is implanted just below the surface of the eye. It is designed to treat less severe glaucoma by enhancing part of the natural drainage pathways of the eye with minimal tissue disruption. This allows the excess fluid in the eye to drain with the goal of reducing intraocular pressure (IOP) levels.

"We expect the MIGS technology to be a great addition to our device pipeline and to establish Alcon’s presence in this new surgical category to treat glaucoma," said Mike Ball, CEO of Alcon. "If approved, it will provide a less invasive means of lowering IOP than traditional invasive glaucoma surgery, with the goal of lowering the dependency of topical ocular medication. This acquisition also expands Alcon’s leadership in glaucoma and cataract treatment as part of our Surgical business."

More than 60 million people globally are affected by glaucoma. Elevated IOP, generally associated with glaucoma, may lead to progressive damage of the optic nerve and vision loss. A patient’s IOP can be managed with eye drops, oral medications, laser surgery, traditional invasive surgery or a combination of these methods.

A study with over 500 patients with mild-to-moderate glaucoma undergoing cataract surgery randomized to either receive the MIGS Micro-Stent after cataract surgery or undergo no further intervention met its primary and secondary endpoints in 2015 resulting in a 20% or greater reduction in IOP. Transcend Medical, Inc. currently has CE Mark approval for the micro-stent in Europe and is awaiting US Food and Drug Administration approval of the device. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

About Glaucoma
More than 60 million people globally are affected by glaucoma that can lead to progressive damage of the optic nerve. Early diagnosis of glaucoma is critical to managing the disease, as it is often asymptomatic and therefore can go undetected until it is at an advanced stage. As the disease advances, patients may experience loss of peripheral (side) vision, tunnel vision or eye spots. Glaucoma can eventually result in gradual, irreversible loss of vision and blindness. The exact cause of glaucoma is unknown. However, elevated pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP) is generally present with glaucoma and is the only known modifiable risk factor. As a chronic disease, patients can be treated with eye drops, oral medications, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods.