AbbVie and iSTAR Medical Form Strategic Alliance for Glaucoma Treatment

AbbVie and iSTAR Medical Form Strategic Alliance for Glaucoma Treatment

July 21, 2022
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AbbVie and iSTAR Medical have formed a strategic transaction to further develop and commercialize iSTAR Medical’s MINIject device, a minimally invasive glaucoma surgical (MIGS) device for patients with glaucoma. The agreement grants AbbVie the sole authority to buy iSTAR Medical.

In order to halt or stop further optic nerve damage, glaucoma treatment mainly entail reducing intraocular pressure (IOP), or the pressure inside the eye. Numerous techniques, including the use of drugs, laser therapy, and surgery, can be used to achieve this.

According to the terms of the contract, iSTAR Medical will receive a non-dilutive upfront payment of $60 million and will continue to develop and market MINIject up until the conclusion of the STAR-V clinical research.

In addition to leading the subsequent global development and commercialization of the MINIject device, AbbVie will have the only right to acquire iSTAR Medical. The investors of iSTAR Medical would be qualified to receive further contingent payments of up to $475 million as a closing payment and upon fulfillment of specific preset milestones if AbbVie exercised the option to purchase iSTAR Medical.

According to a news release, this agreement will boost iSTAR Medical's research and development efforts for MINIject and give AbbVie the chance to grow its eye care business by enhancing its glaucoma portfolio, which includes drops, sustained release implants, and stent options.

Early in 2022, MINIject began selling its products in a few European nations after receiving CE Mark clearance  in the fourth quarter of 2021. In order to allow for commercialization in the United States, iSTAR Medical is now enrolling participants in a US Pre-Market Approval study (STAR-V).

"As a leading company in eye care with a commitment to a broad and diverse portfolio from the front to the back of the eye, along with our global footprint and infrastructure in glaucoma, we are well-positioned to support bringing this MIGS offering to patients and glaucoma specialists through this strategic alliance," Michael Robinson, MD, Vice President, Global Therapeutic Area Head of Eye Care, AbbVie, said in the news release.

“Today’s announcement is validation of the transformational role of MINIject in the treatment of glaucoma,” said Michel Vanbrabant, Chief Executive Officer, iSTAR Medical. “Our commitment has always been to enable more glaucoma patients globally to be treated effectively in a minimally-invasive manner with our MINIject MIGS device, and this alliance accelerates that goal, especially in the United States. We will benefit from AbbVie’s strong global experience and knowledge base already established in glaucoma, and we are excited to be working with such a world class team.”

iSTAR Medical will continue to operate as a stand-alone business until the STAR-V trial is finished. With the help of this funding, MINIject's development and commercialization will continue, along with any continuing clinical research and technological advancements.