Abbott has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Visiogen,Inc. for $400 million in cash, providing the company with a next-generationaccommodating intraocular lens (IOL) technology to address presbyopia forcataract patients. Visiogen, a privately held company based in Irvine, Calif., with Europeanoperations in Karlsruhe, Germany, is an ophthalmic medical device companyspecializing in the development of new vision alternatives for patients withcataracts. "This acquisition demonstrates Abbott's continued commitment to visioncare and our desire to introduce and accelerate technologies that have theability to make a difference in the lives of millions of people around theworld," said John M. Capek, executive vice president, Medical Devices, Abbott."Combining Visiogen's accommodating lens technology with Abbott's existingmedical optics portfolio expands our ability to offer a diverse set ofrefractive options to our ophthalmic customers and the patients they serve.""We are thrilled to join forces with Abbott to bring this much-anticipatedtechnology to market," said Reza Zadno, founder, CEO and president ofVisiogen, Inc. "The global clinical results with Synchrony are extremelyencouraging, and the opportunity to leverage Abbott Medical Optics' extensivecommercialization infrastructure means that many more patients will benefitfrom this exciting advancement in cataract and presbyopia correction."Visiogen's accommodating IOL, called Synchrony, is designed to deliverimproved vision at all distances, potentially eliminating the need for glassesor contact lenses, reducing glare and nighttime halos, and improving contrastsensitivity. Intraocular lenses are implanted in a patient's eye after the removal ofthe natural lens that has become clouded by a cataract. Conventionalmonofocal IOLs are designed to focus primarily at a distance and not tocorrect presbyopia, an age-related change in vision in which the eye's lenscan no longer adjust its focal length to allow clear vision at differentdistances. A common symptom of presbyopia is blurry close-up vision.Presbyopia usually begins after the age of 40 and is estimated to affect morethan 1 billion people worldwide.