Bausch + Lomb, Alfa Instruments Announce Distribution Agreement for Intraocular Dyes

Bausch + Lomb, Alfa Instruments Announce Distribution Agreement for Intraocular Dyes

September 05, 2022

Bausch + Lomb and Alfa Instruments announced that they have signed an exclusive distribution agreement under which Bausch + Lomb will market and distribute Vitreocare, a line of surgical intraocular dyes from Alfa Instruments, worldwide with the exception of Italy, where Alfa Instruments is headquartered.

With Alfa Instruments' intraocular dyes, the agreement expands and improves Bausch + Lomb's surgical portfolio offering in the European Union (EU). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The addition of these clinically proven intraocular dyes to our already comprehensive surgical portfolio will help surgeons enhance the visibility of targeted eye tissues, as well as identify transparent layers of the eye during vitreoretinal, corneal and cataract surgery," Joe Gordon, president, global consumer, vision care and surgical, Bausch + Lomb, said in a company news release.

According to the deal, Bausch + Lomb will be in charge of all sales and distribution efforts for Vitreocare intraocular dyes, including:

Vitreo Lutein for vitreous staining

Single Lutein Blue for internal limiting membrane (ILM) staining

Double Lutein Blue for ILM and epiretinal membrane (ERM) staining

Phaco Lutein for anterior capsule staining

Trypan Blue for anterior capsule staining

The unique common thread of Vitreocare intraocular dyes is lutein, a natural blue light filter. Research has shown that lutein is a safe and effective dye agent, and its antioxidant properties can further protect the retina during eye surgery.1-6

Moreover, Single Lutein Blue and Double Lutein Blue are formulated with the new high purity (>99%) molecule Pure Benzyl-Brilliant Blue (PBB). PBB has been specifically designed in order to improve ILM binding affinity and to avoid diffusion into retinal layers, in order to avoid potential cytotoxicity on off-target tissues.7

Currently, surgical dyes from Alfa Instruments are CE-marked and offered for sale in Switzerland, the EU, and the UK. With the exception of Italy, Bausch + Lomb anticipates starting the distribution of the intraocular dyes in all EU nations in the first half of 2023. Additionally, Bausch + Lomb and Alfa Instruments are investigating the legal requirements and commercial acceptance of surgical dyes in other countries.


1- Lutein: A New Dye for Chromovitrectomy. Mauricio Maia et al. Retina, The Journal of Retinal and Vitreous Diseases, 34:262–272, 2014.

2- Phacodyne versus VisionBlue as vital dyes in Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty. Bucher et al. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2015 Aug;253(8):1411-2.

3- Muller cells activation and retinal damage after macular peeling: comparison between dyes. Romano et al. American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2016 - PO 270.

4- Macular peeling-induced retinal damage: clinical and histopathological evaluation after using different dyes. Romano et al. Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology (2018) 256:1573– 1580.

5- Use of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Alone or Combined with Brilliant Blue to Identify Intraocular Structures Intraoperatively. Sousa-Martins et al. Retina, The Journal of Retinal and Vitreous Diseases, 2012 Jul;32(7):1328-36.

6- Soluble Lutein in Combination with BrilliantBblue as a New Dye for Chromovitrectomy. Badaro et al. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2014 Jul;252(7):1071-8.

7- New Brilliant Blue G Derivative as Pharmacological Tool in Retinal Surgery. Spadaro et al. Front. Pharmacol. 2020 May; 11:708.