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AbbVie Signs $60M Deal for Glaucoma Surgery Device Development

The transaction will support iSTAR Medical’s development and commercial efforts for MINIject.




AbbVie and Belgium-based iSTAR Medical SA announced a transaction to further develop and commercialize a minimally invasive surgical device for patients with glaucoma.

The alliance will support iSTAR Medical’s development and commercial efforts for MINIject “as well as provide an opportunity to expand AbbVie’s eye care business, building on its glaucoma portfolio which includes drops, sustained release implants, and stent offerings,” according to a press release.

MINIject received Conformité Européenne marking approval to commercialize in European countries in the last quarter of 2021 and launched commercially in select European countries in early 2022. iSTAR Medical is currently enrolling a U.S. premarket approval study to enable commercialization in the U.S.

Under the agreement, iSTAR Medical will receive a $60 million upfront payment and will continue to develop and commercialize MINIject until completion of the study. AbbVie will hold the exclusive right to acquire iSTAR Medical and lead subsequent global development and commercialization of the MINIject device.

The release noted: “If AbbVie exercises the right to acquire iSTAR, the stockholders of iSTAR Medical would also be eligible to receive additional contingent payments of up to $475M in a closing payment and upon achievement of certain predetermined milestones.”

ISTAR Medical will remain an independent company through the completion of the study.


“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,” said Dr. Michael Robinson, vice president, global therapeutic area head of eye care, AbbVie. “This alliance with iSTAR Medical is an important step as we continue to be an innovator in glaucoma by maximizing the value of interventional approaches throughout the treatment paradigm.”

Michel Vanbrabant, CEO of iSTAR Medical, said, “Today’s announcement is validation of the transformational role of MINIject in the treatment of glaucoma. 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.”


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