Dry Eye Therapeutic And Diagnostic Devices Are Improving Treatment And Gaining Market Share


The global dry eye market is expected to reach $7.78b by 2025 (Transparency Market Research). The dry eye market includes pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, surgery and new devices (profiled below).  Key drivers include: the aging population; the rising prevalence of diseases like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis that can give rise to dry eyes; greater awareness of eye health; and new technologies that help with the difficulties of patient compliance with eye drops. New approaches are enabling ophthalmologists to diagnose dry eye disease earlier and provide more therapeutic options. The prevalence of dry eye disease and meibomian gland atrophy is appearing more frequently in a younger population.

Key players and developments include:

Johnson & Johnson Vision (formerly AMO). Meibomian gland imaging, or meibography, using either the LipiView or LipiScan systems, is an important diagnostic point-of-care test that allows ophthalmologists to see the anatomical structures of the meibomian gland. LipiView and LipiScan systems provide high-quality meibography, but they can be costly to purchase and have a significant footprint. (J&N acquired Tear Science in 2017.)

Box Medical Solutions developed the Meibox, which provides a method to capture high-resolution images of the meibomian glands in real time. The Meibox is mounted on a slit lamp and easily integrated into an examination.

Quidel’s InflammaDry is the only in-office test that detects elevated levels of MMP-9.

TearLab developed the TearLab osmolarity system, which measures tear film osmolarity, an important factor in patients who may have dry eye disease.

I-Med Pharma developed the I-Pen osmolarity system, a tear osmolarity device currently available in Canada. The system uses single-use sensors to measure the electrical impedance in the tear-soaked tissues 192 times in less than 5 seconds and calculates tear film osmolarity.

Allergan's TrueTear, an intranasal tear neurostimulation device, addresses the neurosensory component of dry eye disease. The FDA-approved device stimulates a nerve in the nasal cavity and triggers the nasolacrimal reflex pathway, which temporarily increases tear production. Allergan, which launched TrueTear in March 2018 paid $125m to acquire Oculeve and the TrueTear device in 2015.

BlephEx LLC developed BlephEx, an in-office procedure that eliminates scurf and bacterial debris from a patient’s eyelids. It removes biofilm from the lid margin to alleviate dry eye disease symptoms.

Tear Film Innovations’ iLux device received 510(k) FDA clearance in December 2017. The hand-held device allows ophthalmologists to look at specific sections of the meibomian gland with a magnifier and evaluate their expressibility.

Sight Sciences developed TearCare system, an in-office therapeutic eyelid technology that delivers a sufficient level of energy to liquefy meibum coupled with gland expression to improve oil flow from the glands.

EyeBrain Medical. Its Neurolens glasses contain specialized lenses to correct the overcompensation of eyes during digital device use.


Keywords: Healthcare Investment Banking, Healthcare M&A, Healthcare mergers