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Ivantis to pay Glaukos US$60 million in MIGS patent settlement

MIGS device manufacturer Glaukos has reached an agreement with Ivantis over a patent infringement lawsuit regarding the latter’s Hydrus Microstent for glaucoma.

On 15 September, Glaukos announced it had agreeing to terminate the legal proceedings it initiated in April 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Under the agreement, Ivantis will pay Glaukos US$60 million (AU$83 m), $30 million (AU$41 m) of which will be paid by December 31, 2021, and the other $30 million (AU$41 m) to be paid by December 31, 2022.

Ivantis will also pay Glaukos a 10% ongoing royalty through April 26, 2025, based on Ivantis’ Hydrus Microstent US sales and any international sales supplied out of the US. Further, the parties have agreed to mutual licenses and covenants not to sue on the Hydrus and iStent technologies.

In accordance with the settlement, the parties will submit a joint request to stay the pending litigation, which had been scheduled for trial beginning on September 28, 2021, and dismiss it upon receipt of the first upfront payment.

The iStent inject W is Glaukos’s latest trabecular micro-bypass system.

“Since our founding in 1998, Glaukos has invested considerable time and resources to develop novel technologies that have pioneered an entirely new treatment category for glaucoma surgeons and their patients,” Mr Thomas Burns, Glaukos president and CEO, said.

“We remain confident in the strength of our robust intellectual property portfolio and believe this settlement allows us to focus our full attention and resources on executing our long-term growth strategy by bringing transformative new technologies to the market for the benefit of patients worldwide.”

According to Glaukos, it pioneered micro-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) – designed to lower eye pressure in glaucoma patients – to change the traditional treatment and management paradigm. Glaukos launched the iStent, its first MIGS device, in the US in 2012, its next-generation iStent inject device in the US in 2018, and most recently, the iStent inject W device in 2020.

Mr Dave Van Meter, president and CEO of Ivantis, said although the company had always believed its pioneering technology did not infringe any valid claim of any of Glaukos’ patents, it was “pleased to put this distraction behind us”.

“Given the upward trajectory of our business and the rapidly increasing adoption of Hydrus in the market, we are fortunate to be in a position to be able to readily absorb this settlement as we continue bringing our best-in-class MIGS technology to our customers and their patients,” he said.

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