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7 Moments that Defined the MIGS Market

Seven key events helped transform and redefine the MIGS space into one of the hottest sectors in medtech.

  • The Micro-invasive glaucoma surgical space, affectionately known as MIGS has undergone several significant changes throughout the past few years. At one point six companies occupied the space which has often been called one of the fastest growing markets in medtech. Now while the space is strong, many of those original players have been acquired and there have been product failures. MD+DI has charted several key movements in the quickly-growing MIGS market.

  • Glaukos Goes Public

    Whenever there is a discussion about the MIGS space one can’t help but mention Glaukos. The company is at the forefront of the MIGS market and was the first to gain FDA approval for a solution in the space. The San Clemente, CA-based company really set the tone for its dominance when it raised $140 million in an initial public offering – thus clinching another first for the MIGS market.

  • Ivantis Becomes a Serious Contender with FDA Nod

    Ivantis received FDA approval for its Hydrus Microstent in August of 2018. The Hydrus Microstent is used to treat patients with mild to moderate primary open-angle glaucoma in conjunction with cataract surgery. The device’s approval was based on the HORIZON Trial, a study that included 556 patients either receiving cataract surgery plus the Hydrus Microstent or cataract surgery alone. The approval provided a direct challenger to Glaukos’ Istent.

  • Allergan Changes MIGS Landscape with Acquisition

    The MIGS space was once comprised of six different companies, but that all changed in 2015 when Allergan acquired AqueSys for an up-front payment of $300 million plus additional milestones. Through the acquisition Allergan obtained XEN45, a soft shunt that is implanted in the subconjunctival space in the eye through a minimally invasive procedure with a single use, pre-loaded proprietary injector. The merger is significant because it is the first time a large company made an acquisition in the space.

  • Ivantis Raises $25 million in Series C Round

    Ivantis proved that venture capital firms were still interested in MIGS. In January of 2017, the Irvine, CA-based company reeled in $25 million in a series C round. RA Capital Management led the latest financing, a $25 million series C round, which is expected to extend the company's runway into 2020 and support U.S. commercialization of the Hydrus Microstent. At the time, the company had raised more than $96 million since 2011.

  • Santen Pharmaceuticals Keeps MIGS M&A Fires Burning

    Santen Pharmaceuticals acquired Innfocus for $225 million in 2016. It was the third such merger in the space leaving Glaukos, Ivantis and Istar as the only companies not to be acquired by a larger company.

  • Glaukos Lays Out its Vision

    Glaukos came out of the box locked and loaded during the 37th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference earlier this year. The San Clemente, CA-based firm revealed several glaucoma treatment products it was developing during the conference as it continues its transition into a hybrid surgical, pharmaceutical, and medical device company.

  • Novartis and Alcon Discontinue MIGS program

    Alcon, a division of Novartis, said it is voluntarily removing all versions of the Cypass Micro-Stent from the global market because patients experienced statistically significant endothelial cell loss compared to patients who underwent cataract surgery alone. Novartis, which is in the process of spinning off Alcon, acquired the CyPass Micro-Stent when it bought Transcend Medical in 2016. The CyPass product removal caused shares to skyrocket for Glaukos and created distance between the other MIGS firms. 

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