Alcon receives approval for toric IOL; affiliate signs 5-year contract with LCA

Alcon announced in a prepared statement that the FDA has approved its aspheric toric IOL (AcrySof).

Huenenberg, Switzerland

-Alcon announced in a prepared statement that the FDA has approved its aspheric toric IOL (AcrySof).

The company said the lens is designed to offer an enhanced aspheric optic that improves image quality and increases contrast sensitivity in cataract surgery patients with astigmatism, offering them the best opportunity for quality distance vision without glasses.

Bill Barton, Alcon’s president of U.S. operations, said: “The . . . toric IOL is yet another IOL technology innovation that is part of Alcon’s product development strategy to provide cataract surgeons with tools for customized treatment based on individual patient needs. To that end, Alcon continues to combine multiple technologies and optics into each new lens’ introduction, all based on [the new lens], the world’s most frequently implanted IOL material.”

The first model of the lens was introduced in 2005 and quickly became the leading toric lens on the market, according to the company, because of its predictable power outcomes and rotational stability. These benefits derive from the IOL’s material and proprietary single-piece design. As the first acrylic single-piece lens, the IOL provides unequalled stability in the eye, Alcon said, adding that this quality is especially important when correcting astigmatism.

The company said it will commercially launch the new IOL next month at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery annual meeting in San Francisco.

In addition, Alcon also announced in a separate statement that its affiliate, Alcon Laboratories, signed a 5-year contract with LCA-Vision. Under the contract, LCA will place the proprietary 400-Hz excimer laser (Allegretto Wave Eye-Q, Alcon [formerly WaveLight]) in all of LCA’s 75 LasikPlus vision surgery centers by the end of the third quarter this year.

A recent contralateral, prospective, randomized study was conducted to compare the clinical outcomes of laser eye surgery on various lasers, including the 400-Hz excimer laser. The study was conducted through cooperation between members of the LCA medical advisory board and an outside research consultant, according to the release.

“The . . . excimer laser performed well on our evaluation criteria, leading to our decision to reduce our laser platforms from three to two and to expand our relationship with Alcon,” said Steven C. Straus, chief executive officer of LCA.

“We are excited about the positive results of this clinical trial, which led to this agreement and the opportunity it provides Alcon to expand our relationship with LCA-Vision,” said Alcon’s Barton. “The study validates the investment we made in WaveLight and clearly demonstrates the quality outcomes achieved by the [excimer laser’s] platform.”

Alcon acquired the U.S. rights to the technology through the acquisition of assets from WaveLight AG in February 2008.