Alcon acquires California medical device company

Alcon, the Fort Worth-based eye care division of Swiss drug maker Novartis International AG, said Feb. 18 it has entered into an agreement to acquire Transcend Medical Inc., a venture-backed, privately-held company focused on developing minimally-invasive surgical devices to treat glaucoma.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Transcend Medical, based in Menlo Park, Calif., is a pioneer in micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). In 2005, the company was the first to spin out of ForSight Labs, an incubator solely focused on ophthalmic innovations. Transcend Medical developed the CyPass Micro-Stent that treats mild to moderate glaucoma. The company currently has CE Mark approval for the micro-stent in Europe and is awaiting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the device.

Alcon’s acquisition of Transcend Medical will expand its leadership in treating glaucoma and cataract treatment as part of its surgical business. Alcon’s three businesses include surgical, ophthalmic pharmaceuticals and vision care.

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“We expect the MIGS technology to be a great addition to our device pipeline and to establish Alcon’s presence in this new surgical category to treat glaucoma,” said Mike Ball, CEO of Alcon.

More than 60 million people globally are affected by glaucoma, which may lead to progressive vision loss. The goal of MIGS is to reduce or eliminate the need for glaucoma medications.

Alcon has more than 25,000 employees worldwide – including 5,000 employees in the Fort Worth-Dallas area – with operations in 75 countries and products available in 180 markets.