CorneaGen to Acquire KeraLink Domestic Eye Bank Operations

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SEATTLE AND BALTIMORE—CorneaGen, a company committed to transforming how corneal surgeons treat and care for the cornea and KeraLink International, a leader in corneal transplantation services, supplies and grafts for transplants, have signed a final agreement for CorneaGen to acquire KeraLink’s domestic eye bank operations and related assets, effective March 1. According to the release, KeraLink will continue to operate as an independent, non-profit organization “with its sights set on making vision-restoring treatments for people with corneal blindness possible anywhere in the world.”

With the agreement going into effect on March 1, CorneaGen will absorb all of KeraLink’s operating locations, and enter into affiliate agreements with KeraLink’s affiliates in New Mexico and San Antonio, Texas. It will employ “most if not all of KeraLink’s operations personnel at their current locations.” Additionally, CorneaGen will support KeraLink’s efforts by providing access to tissue, facilities and personnel.

“CorneaGen and KeraLink are an ideal match because of our shared mission to eliminate corneal blindness around the world,” said KeraLink president and CEO Douglas J. Furlong. “KeraLink’s five-year goal is to restore sight to at least 50,000 people with corneal blindness for whom treatment is currently not a viable option; many of them are children and young adults living in developing countries. We expect the 50,000-person target to grow exponentially as innovations fostered by KeraLink take hold.”

The release stated that CorneaGen will gain efficiencies of scale in reaching the U.S. market, including the ability to serve an additional 8 percent of domestic corneal surgeons and expand its offering of surgical products via this acquisition. The acquisition also brings new partnerships with academia and industry, which will increase CorneaGen’s access to important discoveries in the treatment and prevention of corneal disease.

“This consolidation of CorneaGen’s and KeraLink’s eye bank operations will grow the pools of tissue and talent, improving access for surgeons and patients across America. We also expect efficiencies gained through the larger organization to free up resources to pursue research and innovation,” said Monty Montoya, president and CEO of CorneaGen. “We are looking toward a future for prevention and treatment of corneal blindness that eliminates the need for tissue transplants.”