Alcon Acquires Tear Film Innovations, Inc., Maker of iLux Device

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FORT WORTH, Texas—Alcon, a global leader in eyecare and a division of Novartis, announced pn Wednesday that it has acquired Tear Film Innovations, Inc.,  a privately-held company and manufacturer of the iLux Device, an innovative therapeutic device used to treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, a leading cause of dry eye. Handheld and portable, the iLux Device enables eyecare professionals to directly target a patient’s blocked meibomian glands and provide therapy through an in-office treatment. The Tear Film acquisition expands Alcon’s leading portfolio of ocular health products, including several leading treatments for the temporary relief of dry eye symptoms.

“With the acquisition of Tear Film, we’re excited to bring this latest innovation to treat the millions of people around the world who suffer from dry eye,” said Andy Pawson, Alcon president and general manager, Global Vision Care Franchise. “Alcon remains committed to improving the lives of patients around the world through innovative technologies like the iLux Device to address significant unmet needs in eyecare.”

Using the iLux Device, a practitioner can warm the eyelids via disposable silicone pads to address blocked meibomian glands through the application of light-based heating. While applying the iLux Device, the practitioner can view the eyelid margin and apply manually-controlled compression to express blockages, making adjustments as needed to tailor treatment to the individual needs of the patient. Most treatments can be completed in a matter of minutes.

The iLux Device received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2017, and was officially launched by Tear Film in May 2018 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

“Since launching the iLux Device earlier this year, we’ve seen an enthusiastic response from eyecare professionals who have already begun to incorporate it as an advanced treatment option for patients suffering from meibomian gland dysfunction,” said Rob Thornhill, CEO of Tear Film. “Now, as part of Alcon, we’re eager to bring this technology to even more offices throughout the world.”

The iLux Device is currently available in the U.S. and Canada. Alcon expects to announce plans to expand to other countries in 2019.