AbbVie and iSTAR Medical have teamed up to further develop and commercialise the latter’s MINIject device to treat patients with primary open-angle glaucoma.

MINIject is a minimally invasive glaucoma surgical (MIGS) device, designed to enhance natural fluid outflow and reduce intraocular pressure (IOP).

Under the terms of the agreement, iSTAR Medical is expected to receive an upfront payment of $60m from AbbVie.

The company is responsible for the development and commercialisation of MINIject until the completion of the US premarket approval study, dubbed STAR-V.

AbbVie holds the exclusive right to acquire iSTAR and lead the global development and commercialisation of its MINIject device.

If AbbVie executes the rights, iSTAR’s shareholders would receive additional payments of up to $475m contingent on achieving certain predetermined milestones.

iSTAR will operate as an independent entity until the completion of the STAR-V study.

AbbVie said that the agreement will enable it to further expand its diverse eye care portfolio and provide additional treatment options for glaucoma patients.

AbbVie Eye Care global therapeutic area head vice president Michael Robinson said: “We are well-positioned to support bringing this MIGS offering to patients and glaucoma specialists through this strategic alliance.

“This alliance with iSTAR Medical is an important step as we continue to be an innovator in glaucoma by maximising the value of interventional approaches throughout the treatment paradigm.”

iSTAR is a Belgium-based medical technology company engaged in manufacturing advanced eye care solutions through minimally-invasive implants for bio-integration.

Its MINIject device leverages the characteristic porous structure of the company’s unique STAR material and bio-integrates with the surrounding tissue.

The company has secured CE marking for the device in the last quarter of 2021 and commercially launched it in select European countries in early 2022.

iSTAR is currently enrolling participants in the STAR-V clinical trial, targeting the commercialisation of its MINIject device in the US.

iSTAR Medical chief executive officer Michel Vanbrabant said: “Today’s announcement is validation of the transformational role of MINIject in the treatment of glaucoma.

“Our commitment has always been to enable more glaucoma patients globally to be treated effectively in a minimally-invasive manner with our MINIject MIGS device, and this alliance accelerates that goal, especially in the United States.

“We will benefit from AbbVie’s strong global experience and knowledge base already established in glaucoma, and we are excited to be working with such a world-class team.”