NEW YORK (AP) -- Swiss eye drug maker Alcon said Monday it will buy Optonol Ltd., an Israeli medical device company that makes surgical implants to treat glaucoma patients.
Glaucoma causes loss of sight by damaging the eye's optic nerve. Optonol makes the Ex-Press Mini Glaucoma Shunt, which lowers intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients, Alcon said in a statement, noting that the deal will help complement Alcon's drug products that do the same.
"The acquisition of Optonol is part of our strategy to bolster organic growth with targeted investments in key therapeutic areas that have the potential to contribute in both the near and long term," Alcon CEO Kevin Buehler said in the statement.
The shunt is already approved in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia, among other places.
Alcon expects the deal to close by the end of the first quarter of 2010.
The company's shares fell 22 cents to $163.21 in late morning trading Monday.