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Nova Eye Medical buys New Zealand glaucoma business  

Newly renamed Adelaide ophthalmic device manufacturer Nova Eye Medical has immediately delivered on a plan to expand its glaucoma portfolio, with the AU$921,000 acquisition of a New Zealand-developed drainage device platform.

Nova Eye, formerly Ellex Medical Lasers until the sale of its core business last month, announced a new deal last week to purchase the Molteno3 glaucoma drainage device (GDD) range from Molteno Ophthalmic, a privately-owned company based in Dunedin.

The ASX-listed firm has used some of the AU$97.4 million proceeds it received from the sale of its laser and ultrasound business to French multinational Lumibird Group, which was recently approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Victor Previn.

Nova Eye executives have been signalling their intent to build a comprehensive suite of glaucoma therapies that support its iTrack minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device.

Commenting on the NZ$985,000 (AU$921 million) acquisition, Nova Eye chairman Mr Victor Previn said it supports the company’s focus on glaucoma therapies. The Molteno business currently has a presence in approximately 30 countries.

“Having pioneered the world’s first glaucoma drainage device in the 1960s, Professor Anthony Molteno and the team at Molteno have built a world-class platform of glaucoma implant technologies,” he said.

“Molteno has the longest and most comprehensive history of any of the GDDs available on the market. Professor Anthony Molteno is responsible for many industry firsts. His research has contributed to a comprehensive understanding of GDD surgery that has informed each evolution in Molteno and has culminated in the advanced Molteno3 S-Series.”

According to Nova Eye, the Molteno3 platform is supported by more than 50 years of scientific and clinical research and has been implanted in thousands of patients worldwide. It has been clinically validated to deliver consistent, long-term reduction in intraocular pressure in cases of severe or complex glaucoma.

It has also been shown to offer the benefit of improved practice efficiency via a shorter surgical time.

“With the acquisition of the Molteno3, we will be able to offer our ophthalmologist customers a portfolio of reimbursed, surgical consumable devices that cover all stages of the glaucoma disease process,” Previn added.

“Designed to treat severe or complex glaucoma, the Molteno3 platform serves as a perfect complement to our iTrack MIGS portfolio, which aims to treat mild-moderate cases of glaucoma.”

Targeting key markets

Despite its design and capabilities, Nova Eye believes the Molteno3 GDDs are underpenetrated in key markets, including the US.

Nina Molteno.

It will leverage its existing glaucoma sales and marketing infrastructure to drive the Molteno3 platform further into those markets.

Dr Nina Molteno, Molteno CEO, said: “The sale to Nova Eye Medical perfectly positions the Molteno3 portfolio in a company that understands Professor Anthony Molteno’s groundbreaking research and innovations and the unique advantages of the Molteno3 implants.

“As an emerging leader in glaucoma treatment technologies, Nova Eye Medical is uniquely positioned to strengthen and grow the Molteno3 brand in the global market.”

Nova Eye has also acquired the lease on Molteno’s current manufacturing facility in Dunedin. The facility is certified in accordance with the ISO13485 standard.

Additionally, the company has entered into a consulting agreement with Dr Nina Molteno for a three-month period to assist with the transition.

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