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ZURICH (Reuters) -Alcon has agreed to buy Ivantis, the maker of a tiny stent to treat glaucoma, for an initial $475 million, the Swiss eye care company said on Monday.
Privately held Ivantis Hydrus Microstent makes a minimally-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device designed to lower intraocular pressure for open-angle glaucoma patients in connection with cataract surgery.
The microstent, roughly the size of an eyelash, reduces eye pressure by re-establishing flow through Schlemm's canal, the eye's natural outflow pathway, Alcon said.
Glaucoma is the second-largest cause of blindness after cataracts, affecting more than 75 million people globally, it added.
The Swiss company, which spun off from Novartis in 2019, said the deal for California-based Ivantis strengthened its portfolio of treatments for cataract, refractive, retina and glaucoma patients.
It cited a study showed 65% of Hydrus Microstent patients remained medication-free at five years after having the stent implanted.
Alcon said it may be required to make additional payments upon the achievement of certain regulatory and commercial milestones.
The transaction is anticipated to close in the first quarter of 2022 subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, it added.
(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Kim Coghill)