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B&L makes equity investment in AcuFocus

Bausch & Lomb Inc. Monday said it has made an equity investment in—and secured an exclusive option to purchase—AcuFocus Inc.
The Irvine, Calif., firm is developing corneal inlay technology for the treatment of presbyopia, a part of the normal aging process that reduces the ability of the eye to focus on near objects. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Officials made the announcement at the Hawaiian Eye 2007 meeting.
“We’re truly excited to collaborate with AcuFocus on the development and delivery of their leading-edge corneal inlay technology,” said Henry Tung M.D., corporate vice president and head of global surgical strategy at Bausch & Lomb. “We believe this pioneering technology has the potential to significantly enhance the alternatives available to the large population of presbyopic patients.”
The AcuFocus ACI 700 corneal inlay is intended to treat presbyopia in all patients, including those who have had cataract surgery, and to reduce their dependence on reading glasses, Bausch & Lomb officials said. The inlay is planted in the cornea under a laser eye surgery flap in an outpatient procedure.
The device incorporates technology that increases the patient’s depth of field, thereby improving near vision. The procedure does not involve tissue removal and does not permanently alter the cornea. Pre-implant vision can be restored if the inlay is removed, officials said.
Bausch & Lomb said recent studies have demonstrated that the ACI 7000 improves near vision in patients who previously did not require vision correction as well as those who have had laser surgery. Trials are being conducted to study the ACI 7000 in patients with intraocular lenses.
Ed Peterson, president and CEO of AcuFocus, said he expects Bausch & Lomb’s expertise in eye-care to enhance his firm’s technology.
“With Bausch & Lomb’s investment, we can accelerate and broaden our efforts to bring this exciting technology to refractive surgeons and their patients,” he said.

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