Alcon celebrates new moves in its surgical portfolio

The company opened its largest eye health education and training centre in Europe and also announced its intention to acquire Ivantis

Alcon team
Alcon has opened one of Europe’s largest eye health education and training centres in Barcelona.

The new 1700m2 space has been designed to provide eye care professionals with practical training in cataract, retina and refractive surgery.

The Alcon Experience Center (AEC) in Barcelona, includes a diagnostics corner, wet-lab area with cataract and retina surgical stations, a dry-lab area with a cataract refractive suite and virtual reality stations.

Stephan Eigenmann, region Europe VP, surgical franchise at Alcon, described the inauguration of the new site as an important day for the company, with training and education a “cornerstone” of its commitment to eye care.

The Barcelona AEC forms part of the Alcon Experience Academy network of more than 80 training centres around the world.

An expanding portfolio in ophthalmology and glaucoma

In addition to the recent opening of the new training centre, the company is also celebrating an expansion in the field of surgical glaucoma, after Alcon announced its intention to acquire Ivantis.

Alcon is set to pay $475 million in upfront consideration to acquire Ivantis – the developer and manufacturer of the Hydrus Microstent, a minimally-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device, designed to lower intraocular pressure for open-angle glaucoma patients in connection with cataract surgery.

In the UK, the device is indicated for primary open-angle glaucoma in conjunction with cataract surgery or as a stand-alone procedure. The product was approved by the FDA for use in conjunction with cataract surgery in the US in 2018. More than 85,000 Hydrus devices have been implanted.

The company highlighted that a five-year Horizon clinical study of the Hydrus Microstent demonstrated that 65% of patients remained medication-free at five years post-implant, also showing over a 60% reduction in risk of invasive secondary glaucoma surgeries, compared to cataract surgery alone. The Horizon study is described as the longest continuous follow-up of a MIGS device.

Alcon suggested the proposed acquisition affirmed its commitment to the surgical glaucoma field.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approval and closing conditions.