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    Santen to acquire InnFocus, developer of glaucoma drainage implant


    More about the device

    The implant reduces IOP by draining eye fluid. It is made from SIBS; poly(styrene-block-isobutylene-block-styrene), an innovative, highly biocompatible biomaterial that has been implanted in the body for over 15 years, according to the company.  Compared with conventional glaucoma surgery, the device is minimally invasive and anticipated to ease postoperative management.

    The acquisition will allow the team at Innfocus to finish clinical trials without needing to worry about raising money, "which is a very distracting and time consuming effort when you are otherwise trying to either build a company, complete the clinical trial, or prepare for the launch," said Russ Trenary, president and chief executive officer of InnFocus. "Now everybody knows that there is enough money behind this technology to get it to the marketplace."

    Related: Tracking glaucoma progression with precision medicine

    Earlier this year, InnFocus released 3-year results for the device and found that patients' IOP was lowered an average of 55% to 10.7 mm Hg from a pre-surgical, medicated IOP of 23.8 mm Hg. More than 80% of the 22 patients studied achieved IOPs under 14 mm Hg, and 64% of the patients did not require any glaucoma medication at the third year of the study, the company reported. The company is still in the process of filing for FDA approval for the device as the first minimally invasive stand-alone procedure all states of open-angle glaucoma.

    "For us, it's not about pride-of-ownership or name recognition, it's about taking one of the most amazing technologies I've ever been involved with... and it's about getting this to doctors and patients," he said, adding that the more experience surgeons have with the new device, the more they seem to be "over-the-top enthusiastic about it."

    Glaucoma 360: MIGS making big difference in glaucoma management

    Unlike micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS), the developing device does not require simultaneous cataract removal, according to the company.

    The device has been used to treat more than 250 patients in the United States, Canada, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the Dominican Republic.


    About Santen, InnFocus

    Santen, based in Osaka, Japan, is a Japanese market leader for prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals and has their products in more than 50 countries. Santen specializes in research, development, sales, and marketing of ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.

    Miami-based InnFocus, founded in 2004, has expertise in biomaterial developments and works on developing glaucoma products. 


    Related articles:

    How to succeed in today's glaucoma brave new world

    Three companies on the “Horizon” with glaucoma drugs

    How the FDA is making changes in approval processes for industry, patients

    For more developments in glaucoma, visit the Glaucoma 360 homepage!

    Jolie Higazi
    Jolie is the Content Specialist for Ophthalmology Times. She can be reached at [email protected]

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