Bausch + Lomb Acquires AcuFocus, Inc.
Acquisition Will Enhance Bausch + Lomb’s Surgical Portfolio with IC-8® Apthera™ Intraocular Lens
VAUGHAN, Ontario & IRVINE, Calif. — Bausch + Lomb Corporation (NYSE/TSX: BLCO) (“Bausch + Lomb”), a leading global eye health company dedicated to helping people see better to live better, and AcuFocus, Inc. (“AcuFocus”), a privately held ophthalmic medical device company, today announced that an affiliate of Bausch + Lomb has acquired AcuFocus, pursuant to a merger transaction with the parent company of AcuFocus.
AcuFocus has delivered breakthrough small aperture intraocular technology to address the diverse unmet needs in eye care, including the IC-8® Apthera™ intraocular lens (IOL), which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2022 as the first and only small aperture non-toric extended depth of focus (EDOF) IOL for certain cataract patients who have as much as 1.5 diopters of corneal astigmatism and wish to address presbyopia at the same time. Known as the IC-8 IOL in global markets, this IOL is available in select markets across Europe, as well as in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
Cataracts are a common condition affecting an estimated 94 million people globally.1 In fact, the global premium cataract IOL market is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 13 percent between 2022 and 2027.2 In the United States alone, an estimated 24 million people have cataracts, a number that is expected to grow to 50 million by 2050.3
Cataracts can only be treated with surgery in which the cloudy natural lens is removed and an IOL is implanted.4 Many patients receive a monofocal IOL at the time of cataract surgery, which may correct for distance vision, but not for presbyopia. Some available presbyopia-correcting IOLs have complex optics that split, shift or stretch light to provide clear vision at more than one discrete focal point. In contrast, the IC-8 Apthera IOL features proprietary small aperture technology that enables both distance vision correction and near vision correction to mitigate the effects of presbyopia.
“Cataracts are the largest contributor to global blindness in adults aged 50 years and older, with more than 15 million individuals, or approximately 45 percent of the more than 33 million cases of global blindness.5 We believe that the IC-8 Apthera EDOF IOL will bolster our surgical portfolio by enhancing our IOL offerings, which is a strategic area of focus for Bausch + Lomb,” said Joseph C. Papa, CEO, Bausch + Lomb. “We will continue to focus on areas of unmet medical need that we believe will help drive long-term growth in our core segments, and importantly, help us achieve our mission of helping people see better to live better.”
“Bausch + Lomb is a legacy name in eye care with a fully integrated portfolio of offerings in eye health,” said Al Waterhouse, president and CEO, AcuFocus. “With its extensive development footprint and renowned commercial expertise, we believe Bausch + Lomb is best positioned to educate physicians about the IC-8 Apthera lens, and ultimately, ensure more cataract patients have access to this new IOL.”
About the IC-8 Apthera IOL
The IC-8 Apthera IOL is a wavefront-filtering intraocular lens for unilateral implantation in patients who have been diagnosed with bilateral operable cataracts, have as much as 1.5 diopters of corneal astigmatism in the implanted eye and who do not have a history of retinal disease and are not predisposed to experience retinal disease in the future. This IOL, compared to a monofocal or monofocal toric IOL, provides an extended range of vision from distance through near.
As with any cataract surgery, risks of complications exist whether or not the IOL is implanted. The complications of IOL implantation surgery range from minor side effects (usually temporary) to serious complications. Patients with a history of previous illnesses or disorders of the eye may have a higher risk of complications. Patients with a history of retinal disease or those predisposed to retinal disease must not be implanted with the IOL. As with other extended depth of focus IOLs, further surgical treatment (such as IOL replacement for a different lens) may be needed after implantation of the IOL.
A full list of benefits and risks associated with the IC-8 Apthera IOL will be available in the Directions For Use and the Patient Information Brochure.
BofA Securities served as exclusive financial advisor to AcuFocus in this transaction. Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP served as legal advisor to Bausch + Lomb, and Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor to AcuFocus.
About AcuFocus, Inc.
AcuFocus, Inc. delivers breakthrough small aperture intraocular products to address diverse unmet needs in eye care and help patients achieve their best personal vision. The IC-8 Apthera IOL (known as the IC-8 IOL in global markets) is approved in the United States for the treatment of cataracts. The lens received CE mark in 2015 and is available in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and select markets across Europe.
About Bausch + Lomb
Bausch + Lomb is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the gift of sight for millions of people around the world – from the moment of birth through every phase of life. Its comprehensive portfolio of more than 400 products includes contact lenses, lens care products, eye care products, ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter products and ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments. Founded in 1853, Bausch + Lomb has a significant global research and development, manufacturing and commercial footprint with more than 12,000 employees and a presence in nearly 100 countries. Bausch + Lomb is headquartered in Vaughan, Ontario with corporate offices in Bridgewater, New Jersey. For more information, visit www.bausch.com and connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
This news release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) and “forward-looking information” under Canadian securities laws (collectively, “forward-looking statements”). These forward-looking statements include, but, but are not limited to, statements regarding AcuFocus’, Bausch + Lomb’s and their respective management teams’ expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions and strategies about the future. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the parties’ perspectives and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may generally be identified by the use of the words “anticipates,” “hopes,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “may,” “believes,” “estimates,” “potential,” “target,” or “continue” and variations or similar expressions, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. These statements are based upon the current expectations and beliefs of management of both AcuFocus and Bausch + Lomb and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks and uncertainties discussed in Bausch + Lomb’s respective filings with the SEC and the Canadian Securities Administrators, which factors are incorporated herein by reference. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Neither AcuFocus nor Bausch + Lomb undertakes any obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this news release or to reflect actual outcomes, unless required by law.
- The World Health Organization: Blindness and Vision impairment. Retrieved Dec. 12, 2022.
- Market Scope. 2022 IOL Market Report (April 2022).
- National Eye Institute. NEI charts a clearer future for cataract prevention and treatment. Retrieved Dec. 12, 2022.
- National Eye Institute. Cataracts. Retrieved Jan. 14, 2023.
- Steinmetz, J. D., Bourne, R. R., Briant, P. S., Flaxman, S. R., Taylor, H. R., Jonas, J. B., … & Morse, A. R. F. (2021). Causes of blindness and vision impairment in 2020 and trends over 30 years, and prevalence of avoidable blindness in relation to VISION 2020: the Right to Sight: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. The Lancet Global Health, 9(2), e144-e160. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30489-7
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