Japan’s Santen Pharma snaps up glaucoma microshunt maker InnFocus for $225M

The InnFocus microshunt.

Japan’s Santen Pharmaceutical shelled out $225 million in cash to acquire InnFocus, the maker of the MicroShunt, which is designed to treat patients in the mild to severe stage of glaucoma.

Under terms of the deal, Santen will make an upfront payment in cash with additional money to be paid upon pre-determined development, regulatory and commercial milestones. The deal is subject to meeting U.S. anti-trust regulations. Additional details are expected to be disclosed during Santen’s 1Q earnings report set for early next month.

InnFocus’ MicroShunt implant is designed to lower and maintain intraocular pressure for the treatment of primary open-angle glaucoma. Currently, the device is in late stage clinical studies in the U.S. and Europe in anticipation of a PMA application with the FDA expected “in the near future”, the company said. The MicroShunt has already received CE Mark.


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"Santen will strengthen our glaucoma pipeline and stay at the forefront of innovation in ophthalmology,” Akira Kurokawa, Santen’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “I am truly excited about the MicroShunt as a new and effective treatment option that should significantly improve patient outcomes.”

The MicroShunt is about twice the size of an eyelash and was developed in collaboration with the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute that is part of the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine.

The device is made of proprietary biomaterial that InnFocus said is an "insignificant" cause of inflammation. It is implanted in the inflow end in the anterior chamber of the eye at the angle and the outflow end under the conjunctiva.

- here’s the release

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