B&L announces eyeonics and CrystalGenomics deals, new leader

February 6, 2008

Rochester, NY-Bausch & Lomb (B&L) has acquired eyeonics inc., has announced a joint research and development pact with CrystalGenomics  (CG) Inc., and has named Gerald M. Ostrov as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO).

Rochester, NY-Bausch & Lomb (B&L) has acquired eyeonics inc., has announced a joint research and development pact with CrystalGenomics  (CG) Inc., and has named Gerald M. Ostrov as chairman and chief executive officer (CEO).

The eyeonics’ Aliso Viejo, CA-based operations now are part of B&L’s surgical business, the U.S. portion of which is being led by J. Andy Corley, eyeonics’ co-founder, chairman, and CEO. The company, founded in 1998, developed and markets the only FDA-approved accommodating IOL (crystalens), which, according to B&L, has been implanted in more than 95,000 eyes worldwide. The FDA approved the lens in 2003.

“This represents our first acquisition since Bausch & Lomb became a private company in a transaction led by Warburg Pincus,” said Ronald L. Zarrella, B&L chairman and CEO at the time of the announcement. “This acquisition immediately places [B&L] into the rapidly expanding premium IOL market.”

In 2007, eyeonics generated revenues of approximately $34 million, an increase of 100% over prior-year revenues. Its accommodating IOL is estimated to represent approximately 30% of the presbyopic IOL market in the United States.

“We expect that this transaction will lead to accelerated adoption of the [accommodating] IOL,” said Corley.

Financial terms of the eyeonics transaction were not disclosed.

In other news, B&L and CG announced plans to join efforts to study potential new treatments for inflammatory ophthalmic diseases. CG, of Seoul, South Korea, will provide new pharmaceutical candidate compounds, and B&L will develop product formulations, conduct pre-clinical and clinical studies, and bring the products to market.

“Our collaborations with overseas bio and pharmaceutical firms leverage the strengths of [CG] and our partners-a win-win situation,” said Joong Myung Cho, CG president and CEO.

“This collaboration has the potential to extend our leadership in anti-inflammatory ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, especially with [CG’s] unique three-dimensional, structure-based optimization technology for compound discovery,” said Praveen Tyle, PhD, chief scientific officer for B&L.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

B&L announced Ostrov as the company’s new chairman and CEO effective Jan. 23. Most recently, he was group chairman, worldwide vision care, for Johnson & Johnson (J&J), where he led the company’s global vision-care businesses from 1998 to 2006. His career also has included positions as president of Ciba Consumer Pharmaceuticals, president of J&J’s personal products business, and chairman of J&J’s North American consumer and personal-care businesses.

Zarrella, who had been chairman and CEO since 2001, will retire in March and serve as chairman emeritus.

B&L projects fourth-quarter 2007 net sales of $654 million to $660 million, compared with $598 million in the same period in 2006. For all of 2007, B&L projects net sales of approximately $2.5 billion compared with about $2.3 billion in 2006.