Alcon to Acquire WaveTec Vision, Developer of Intra-Operative Measurements for Cataract Surgery

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FORT WORTH, Texas – Alcon, division of Novartis Group (NYSE: NVS), announced this week that the company has entered into an agreement to acquire Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based WaveTec Vision, a privately-held company that developed the ORA System, the first commercialized intra-operative guidance system for cataract surgeons implanting intra-ocular lenses (IOLs).

The ORA System, which complements Alcon’s Verion image-guided pre-operative diagnostic system, allows surgeons to see incisions and IOL alignment in real time to support optimal positioning of IOLs during cataract surgery. The ORA System performs additional measurements to confirm the surgeon’s lens selection and placement within the eye. Alcon said it plans to integrate the ORA System into its existing cataract refractive suite which includes: VERION, the LenSx femtosecond laser, the Centurion phacoemulsification system, and the LuxOR LX3 microscope. The ORA System is currently the most advanced intra-operative diagnostic tool for cataract surgery available with over 200,000 procedures performed and 345 units placed to date globally, the company stated.

“Alcon is continuously seeking new ways to address the needs of cataract patients, particularly those who live with astigmatism and presbyopia,” said Jeff George, global head of Alcon. “The ORA System provides intra-operative measurements which are not available with current pre-operative technologies and is designed to help surgeons improve patient outcomes through optimal IOL selection and placement during surgery.”

“The ORA System has proven that there is real value in technology that is both patient and provider-centered,” said Tom Frinzi, WaveTec president and CEO. “As a leader in eyecare, Alcon is the right company offering the global reach and resources necessary to ensure this technology benefits patients and surgeons alike worldwide.”

Upon closing, Alcon will acquire full rights to the ORA System technology and immediately begin the integration of the company into its surgical business franchise. The transaction is subject to closing conditions, including anti-trust approval, the company said.

Alcon is the second largest division of the Novartis Group, with net sales of $10.5 billion in 2013.