For immediate release
iSTAR Medical Expands International Commercial Rollout of MINIject® with Successful First Implants Completed in Australia
WAVRE, Belgium — 10 January 2024: iSTAR Medical, a medtech company delivering breakthrough eye care solutions to patients, today announces that the first implantations of MINIject®, the Company’s minimally-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device, have been completed in Australia, further expanding the Company’s global presence with the commercial rollout of the device.
Australia is the first territory outside of Europe for iSTAR Medical to have progressed its commercial roll out of MINIject®, following the successful expansion into countries including Germany, the UK, Switzerland, and most recently, Ireland.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in Australia1, affecting an estimated population of 300,000; with primary open-angle glaucoma accounting for around 90 percent of cases2. With this expansion, glaucoma patients across Australia will now be able to benefit from MINIject®, the only commercially available supraciliary MIGS implant. MINIject® has demonstrated meaningful and sustained performance, combined with a favorable safety profile, and offers a treatment option for open-angle glaucoma.
The first surgeries were completed successfully across locations in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane by Associate Prof. Ashish Agar, VP Australian Society of Ophthalmology, Marsden Eye Surgery Centre and Sydney Eye Hospital; Associate Prof. Andrew White, PersonalEYES, Head of the Department of Ophthalmology, Westmead Hospital, New South Wales; Dr Nathan Kerr, Eye Surgery Associates, Manningham Private Hospital, Victoria; and Dr Geoffrey Ryan, Queensland Eye Institute (QEI), Mater South Brisbane, Queensland.
Associate Prof. Ashish Agar, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and VP Australian Society of Ophthalmologists, commented: “By allowing us to target the supraciliary space, MINIject® represents an important innovation for the treatment of glaucoma. I am pleased to be able to offer patients a new safe and effective treatment option for open-angle glaucoma.
Dr Nathan Kerr, Specialist Ophthalmologist at Eye Surgery Associates, said: “As our population ages, the need for more innovative solutions to tackle increasing rates of glaucoma will continue to grow. MINIject® offers a less invasive and effective treatment option for glaucoma patients, and its availability in Australia ensures that more patients will be able to benefit from the advantages of this advanced treatment option.”
Associate Prof. Andrew White, Head of the Department of Ophthalmology, Westmead Hospital, added: “The availability of MINIject® is a significant development for glaucoma treatment in Australia, providing an additional option for the safe and effective treatment of the condition. I am pleased to be able to offer this minimally-invasive treatment option to my patients.”
Michel Vanbrabant, CEO of iSTAR Medical, commented: “We are proud to now offer MINIject® to patients affected by open-angle glaucoma in Australia, with the first surgeries successfully completed in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. I would like to thank the clinicians involved for helping us achieve this significant milestone and look forward to reaching more patients throughout Australia and beyond.”
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For more information
Paul van Hagen
Chief Financial Officer, iSTAR Medical
Amber Fennell, Chris Welsh, Kris Lam
About iSTAR Medical
iSTAR Medical is committed to delivering breakthrough eye care solutions. Our most advanced product, MINIject®, is approved in Europe for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma – the leading cause of irreversible blindness – and we are aiming to seek market approval in the US. We believe MINIject®’s distinctive tissue-integrating capabilities unlock a safer, and more effective option for patients. We are building an exceptional team and pipeline of potentially leading products such as MINIject® to establish new treatment paradigms in eye care conditions with the highest patient needs.
iSTAR Medical is an independent company which entered a strategic partnership with AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) in July 2022. The collaboration further supports the role of MINIject® in the treatment of glaucoma and accelerates iSTAR Medical’s goal to bring MINIject® to more patients globally while providing AbbVie the opportunity to further expand its diverse eye care portfolio.
MINIject® is iSTAR Medical’s innovative MIGS device for patients with primary open-angle glaucoma. MINIject® combines the distinctive porous structure of its proprietary STAR material with the power offered by the supraciliary space. As a result, it is designed to enhance natural fluid outflow, reducing intraocular pressure (IOP) and the need for medication, while bio-integrating with surrounding tissue, limiting inflammation, fibrosis and subsequent complications.
Glaucoma is a progressive disease affecting over 100 million people globally, of which primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form.3,4 IOP reduction, through medication or surgery, helps delay disease progression.5 Medication is generally the first line treatment, but the progressive addition of multiple drops can burden patients with side effects, compliance challenges and costs.4,5 Invasive surgery can present risks with irreversible complications and often requires long-term patient management.4,5 MIGS is the most promising and fastest-growing glaucoma therapy due to its enhanced safety profile.4 MINIject® is potentially best-in-class for its promising long-term efficacy and safety.
1 Keel S, Xie J, Foreman J et al.. “Prevalence of glaucoma in the Australian National Eye Health Survey.” British Journal of Ophthalmology 2019; 103: 191-195
3 Jonas JB, Aung T, Bourne RR et al. “Glaucoma”. Lancet 2017; 390: 2083–93
4 Market Scope, “2021 Glaucoma Surgical Device Market Report”, July 2021.
5 “European Glaucoma Society Terminology and Guidelines for Glaucoma”, 4th Edition: British Journal of Ophthalmology. 2017;101:1-195 https://bjo.bmj.com/content/101/5/73