Alcon announced that it has acquired Tear Film Innovations, maker of the iLux device to treat meibomian gland dysfunction.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Handheld and portable, the iLux enables eye care professionals to directly target a patient’s blocked meibomian glands and provide therapy through an in-office treatment. Using the iLux device, a practitioner can warm the eyelids via disposable silicone pads to address blocked meibomian glands through the application of light-based heating. While applying the iLux, the practitioner can view the eyelid margin and apply manually-controlled compression to express blockages, making adjustments as needed to tailor treatment to the individual needs of the patient. Most treatments can be completed in a matter of minutes.
The Tear Film acquisition expands Alcon’s portfolio of ocular health products, including several leading treatments for the temporary relief of dry eye symptoms.
“Dry eye is one of the fastest growing segments of the vision care category and within dry eye, diagnostics and treatments is one of the fastest growing sub-segments. Alcon already has a strong position in the growing segment of dry eye with the world’s leading artificial tear with the Systane brand. So it’s a logical extension for us to move into the diagnostics and treatment space,” Andy Pawson, Alcon President & General Manager, Global Vision Care Franchise, said in an interview with Eyewire News. “With the iLux device in particular, we were looking for a device that gave us the potential to provide simple and intuitive and efficient treatment for patients that suffer from Meibomian gland dysfunction, which is one of the main causes of dry eye.”
The iLux device received 510(k) clearance from the FDA in December 2017, and was officially launched by Tear Film in May 2018 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
“Since launching the iLux Device earlier this year, we’ve seen an enthusiastic response from eye care professionals who have already begun to incorporate it as an advanced treatment option for patients suffering from meibomian gland dysfunction,” Rob Thornhill, CEO of Tear Film, said in a company news release. “Now, as part of Alcon, we’re eager to bring this technology to even more offices throughout the world.”
The iLux device is currently available in the United States and Canada. Alcon expects to announce plans to expand to other countries in 2019.