Cataract and Refractive Surgery: Hoping For a Rebound
April's annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery took place against of the darkest market backdrops in memory. The mood at ASCRS was not all gloom and doom, however. Cataract and refractive surgery technology continues to advance and a number of new product were introduced at the meeting.
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The mood was primarily upbeat at April's annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Most in attendance expected a modest rebound in procedure volumes for 2010. Highlights of the meeting included three new laser systems under development that promise to bring a new level of precision to cataract surgery, along with several next-gen surgical treatments for presbyopia.
Highlights from the Q2 2009 review of medical device and in vitro diagnostics/research dealmaking: Financings by medical device companies jumped an impressive 62% over Q1 to $847 million--primarily from private VC rounds that contributed over 90% of the total deal volume with 52 early- and late-stage transactions--indicating a possible rebound in fundraising. Medical device M&As, on the other hand, proved to be a disappointment with only ten deals raising $794 million, most of which was Covidien's $470 million cash purchase of Vnus Medical. Although there were no big mergers, some device firms instead turned to the strategic alliance as a way to gain inexpensive products and technologies. On the in vitro diagnostics/research side, financing activity captured over three times the previous quarter's dollars through 12 deals totaling $302 million, however, almost 80% of that amount was from Beckman Coulter's $239 million FOPO. VC rounds only averaged $6 million apiece, with early- and late-stage rounds together bringing in $43 million. M&A in this industry segment was almost non-existent with only two transactions adding up to $358 million, a mere third of Q1 M&A deal volume.
The 2009 Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons and Presbyopia International 2009 Symposium took place against a backdrop of relative optimism within the refractive surgery industry. There are signs that the laser vision correction market may have hit bottom during the middle of 2009.