Novartis Acquires Encore Vision, Maker of Eye Drops that Treat Farsightedness

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Novartis International AG (NYSE: AG) has agreed to buy Encore Vision Inc., a developer of topical treatment for loss of near distance vision, to add to the buyer’s ophthalmology division. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Encore Vision is a Fort Worth, Texas-based start-up that develops and distributes pharmaceuticals for the treatment of presbyopia, a vision disorder caused by the loss of elasticity in the lens of the eye. The age-related condition affects approximately 80 percent of people over the age of 45. While there are some therapies for presbyopia that only provide optical correction without addressing the cause of vision loss, there are no safe treatments available that could stop progression or reverse the disorder. Encore Vision’s product, called EV06, has been used in two phases of clinical trials, showing advancement in distant corrected near vision.

Novartis is a global healthcare company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland that develops treatments for both the front and back of the eye conditions, including: retina diseases, glaucoma, dry eye and other external eye diseases. The deal comes as the buyer combined its retina medicines business with the Alcon pharmaceuticals business in 2016. The business now operates as one ophthalmology division under Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Deals for companies in the medical sector continue to receive strong interest from buyers. Recent acquisitions include: Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE: JNJ) agreeing to buy Abbott Laboratories’ (NYSE: ABT) eye-surgery equipment unit; Windjammer Capital Investors’ investment in medical test equipment maker Advanced Instruments; Genstar-backed Tecomet Inc. purchased Mountainside Medical, a maker of endoscopes and laparoscopes; TPG Capital acquired Beaver-Visitec International, another eye surgery device maker; and Teleflex Inc.’s (NYSE: TFX) deal to buy Vascular Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: VASC) for approximately $1 billion.

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