Advanced Medical Optics Announces Licensing Agreement with Quest Vision to Develop Accommodating IOL.
SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 3, 2004
Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. (AMO) (NYSE:AVO), a global leader in ophthalmic surgical devices and eye care products, today announced a one-year research and evaluation licensing agreement with Quest Vision Technologies, Inc. to develop accommodating intraocular lens (IOL) designs. Under terms of the agreement, AMO will own a minority interest in Quest Vision, with an option to purchase the company after one year. No other terms were disclosed.
The Quest Vision accommodating IOL designs, FocusIOL and FlexOptic, are being developed to address presbyopia, which is the progressive loss of the natural lens' ability to change focus from far to near objects. Quest's original design concepts were patented by ophthalmologist Randy Woods in 1988. Presbyopia is caused by the aging of the eye's natural lens and is prevalent in individuals typically over 40 years old. Recent studies indicate that, in the United States alone, presbyopia will affect 90 million people over the next 10 years. The FocusIOL and FlexOptic lenses are designed to mimic the qualities of the eye's natural crystalline lens by accommodating in response to changes in the eye's natural ciliary muscle mechanism.
"Accommodating IOLs hold great promise as a new vision correction option for millions of presbyopes who now rely on eyeglasses," said James V. Mazzo, AMO president and CEO. "With this agreement, AMO will pursue its goal to offer ophthalmic surgeons and their patients an even wider selection of advanced technologies for correction of refractive conditions. This agreement is consistent with our strategy to complement our internal scientific and engineering expertise with strategic alliances, acquisitions and other corporate development activities that allow us to play a major role in the development of the burgeoning refractive IOL marketplace."
With the agreement, AMO gains access to novel accommodating IOL technologies that could add breadth to its growing refractive IOL offering, which currently includes the Array(R) multifocal IOL and Verisyse(TM) phakic IOL. In addition, AMO expects to acquire the Tecnis(R) multifocal IOL, a progressive diffractive lens technology, as part of its planned acquisition of Pfizer Inc.'s surgical ophthalmology business, which is slated to close this summer. Both the Array(R) and the Tecnis(R) multifocal are approved for correction of presbyopia in Europe.
Under the agreement announced today, AMO will have access to a number of issued and pending patents for various design approaches that encompass both axial movement and shape-changing technology.
"We are delighted to be working with AMO on the further development and commercialization of the Quest Vision technology and are confident that we have chosen the ideal partner," said Dr. John Hunkeler, chairman of Quest Vision Technologies, Inc., chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and founder and medical director of Hunkeler Eye Institute in Kansas City, Mo. "For the past four years, Quest Vision has been working diligently to raise the performance bar on the correction of presbyopia. We have created two accommodative lens products for both the cataract and refractive markets. These technologies have shown great promise in animal and engineering models, and we look forward to merging our technology into AMO's product development portfolio."
About Advanced Medical Optics
Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. (AMO) is a global leader in the development, manufacturing and marketing of ophthalmic surgical and eye care products. The company focuses on developing a broad suite of innovative technologies and devices to address a wide range of eye disorders. Products in the ophthalmic surgical line include foldable intraocular lenses, phacoemulsification systems, viscoelastics and related products used in cataract surgery, and microkeratomes used in LASIK procedures for refractive error correction. AMO owns or has the rights to such well-known ophthalmic surgical product brands as Phacoflex(R), Clariflex(R), Array(R) and Sensar(R) foldable intraocular lenses, the Sovereign(R) and Sovereign(R) Compact phacoemulsification systems with WhiteStar(TM) technology and the Amadeus(TM) microkeratome. Products in the eye care line include contact lens disinfecting solutions, daily cleaners, enzymatic cleaners and lens rewetting drops. Among the well-known contact lens care product brands the company possesses are COMPLETE(R) Moisture PLUS(TM), COMPLETE(R) Blink-N-Clean(R), Consept(R)F, Consept(R) 1 Step, Oxysept(R) 1 Step, UltraCare(R), Ultrazyme(R), Total Care(R) and blink(TM) branded products. Amadeus is a licensed product of, and a trademark of, SIS, Ltd. All of the marks denoted as proprietary to AMO, are trademarks of Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. Quest Vision is a trademark of Quest Vision Technologies.
Advanced Medical Optics, Inc. is based in Santa Ana, California, and employs approximately 2,300 worldwide. The company has operations in about 20 countries and markets products in approximately 60 countries. For more information, visit the company's web site at www.amo-inc.com.
About Quest Vision(TM)
Quest Vision Technology, Inc. is a Tiburon, California-based research and development company founded to develop solutions for the correction of presbyopia. The technology platform was invented by cataract surgeon, Dr. Randy Woods, in 1986. Quest was formally founded in 2000 by a group of industry executives and surgeons and was privately financed. Over the last four years, the company has developed two separate accommodating lens technologies: one for the cataract market (FocusIOL) and the other for the refractive market (FlexOptic). The FocusIOL has been implanted in both animal and cadaver eyes. Quest has developed significant expertise in the area of accommodating lens technology and currently has an extensive portfolio of issued and pending patents.
This press release contains forward-looking statements about AMO, Quest Vision, and their businesses, such as Mr. Mazzo's and Dr. Hunkeler's statements, and statements about potential new products and AMO's planned acquisition. Any statements in this press release that refer to AMO's estimated or anticipated future results are forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements in this press release reflect AMO's current analysis of existing trends and information and represent AMO's judgment only as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ from current expectations based on a number of factors affecting AMO's or Quest Vision's businesses, including but not limited to unpredictable competitive, regulatory and market conditions; risks of technology development failures and product feasibility; the execution of strategic initiatives; the uncertainties associated with intellectual property protection for these products; and the risks of not meeting the regulatory and other conditions necessary to close the planned acquisition. Therefore, the reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. AMO disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Additional information concerning these and other risk factors may be found in previous financial press releases issued by AMO. AMO's public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the discussion under the heading "Certain Factors and Trends Affecting AMO and its Businesses" in AMO's 2003 Form 10-K also include information concerning these and other risk factors. Copies of press releases and additional information about AMO are available on the World Wide Web at www.amo-inc.com, or you can contact the AMO Investor Relations Department by calling (714) 247-8348.
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|Date:||May 3, 2004|
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