CorneaGen and KeraLink International, a provider of corneal transplantation services, supplies and grafts for transplant, have signed a final agreement for CorneaGen to acquire KeraLink’s domestic eye bank operations and related assets.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
KeraLink will continue to operate as an independent, non-profit organization, with its sights set on making vision-restoring treatments for people with corneal blindness possible anywhere in the world. KeraLink’s goal is to provide better options to more than 10 million people who currently live without sight, because corneal transplant tissue is not available, not affordable or surgeons’ skills are not sufficient.
Effective March 1, CorneaGen will absorb all of KeraLink’s operating locations, enter into affiliate agreements with KeraLink’s affiliates in New Mexico and San Antonio, and employ most, if not all, of KeraLink’s operations personnel at their current locations, according to a company news release. CorneaGen also will support KeraLink’s efforts by providing access to tissue, facilities and personnel.
“CorneaGen and KeraLink are an ideal match because of our shared mission to eliminate corneal blindness around the world,” KeraLink President and CEO Douglas J. Furlong said in the news release. “KeraLink’s 5-year goal is to restore sight to at least 50,000 people with corneal blindness for whom treatment is currently not a viable option; many of them are children and young adults living in developing countries. We expect the 50,000 person target to grow exponentially as innovations fostered by KeraLink take hold.”
Through the acquisition, CorneaGen will gain efficiencies of scale in reaching the U.S. market, including the ability to serve an additional eight percent of domestic corneal surgeons and expand its offering of surgical products. The acquisition also brings new partnerships with academia and industry, which will increase CorneaGen’s access to important discoveries in the treatment and prevention of corneal disease.
“This consolidation of CorneaGen’s and KeraLink’s eye bank operations will grow the pools of tissue and talent, improving access for surgeons and patients across America. We also expect efficiencies gained through the larger organization to free up resources to pursue research and innovation,” Monty Montoya, president and CEO of CorneaGen, said in the news release. “We are looking toward a future for prevention and treatment of corneal blindness that eliminates the need for tissue transplants.”