As 2022 comes to an end, iSTAR Medical’s CEO, Michel Vanbrabant, looks back on the extraordinary progress iSTAR Medical has made and the milestones it has achieved this year in the development and commercialization of its innovative, minimally invasive implant, MINIject®, for people affected by glaucoma.
This year was, undoubtedly, a transformative year for iSTAR Medical and I could not be prouder of what we have achieved. We continue to establish iSTAR Medical as a leader in minimally-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) with the clinical development and commercial rollout of MINIject®.
We have continued our commercial roll-out across Europe, with first implants of MINIject® taking place in the UK, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway, as well as significantly expanding throughout Germany after our launch there in late 2021. We are committed to delivering breakthrough eye care solutions to patients and the positive feedback we consistently receive from surgeons and patients reassures us of a bright future ahead.
This year we achieved numerous clinical milestones, including consistent positive MINIject® results across three international trials at 2-years, and progress on our US STAR-V trial. These accomplishments provide a clear indication of how we are transforming glaucoma treatment by allowing patients the opportunity to control their eye pressure over the longer-term, while being able to discontinue or significantly reduce their use of eye drops (with their associated side-effects).
Innovation is at the core of our work, and we are proud to have shared our progress with the scientific community throughout the year. We presented trial data at various international conferences and events including the ICGS, AGS Annual Meeting, ASCRS Annual Meeting, EGS Congress, DOC, the ESCRS Congress, Ophthalmology Futures European Forum, the DOG, IGC, and the AAO. We were also very proud to have hosted a successful symposium at the EGS congress involving leading European ophthalmologists such as Antonio Fea (Italy), Karsten Klabe (Germany) and Chrys Dimitriou (UK), which I welcome you to rewatch on our YouTube channel.
I’m proud to have seen iSTAR Medical, MINIject® and the work of our team featured in various international media outlets, including the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday, Fierce MedTech and BioWorld and even in our home Belgian press including Kanaal Z, La Libre, L’Echo, De Tijd and BioVox. Quite a busy year!
In recognition of these successes and more, last month we were honored to have won the LSX European Lifestars ‘Medtech of the Year’ Award for 2022. This award reflects the significance of our extraordinary accomplishments and the hard work of the iSTAR Medical team, not only in Europe, but globally.
Another significant achievement for iSTAR Medical this year was the strategic alliance we entered with AbbVie into in July. Under the partnership, we received a US $60M payment enabling us to further expand the commercialization of MINIject®, and to support our US investigational trial STAR-V. As part of the alliance, AbbVie holds the exclusive right to acquire iSTAR Medical. Until then, iSTAR Medical will remain independent and continue to operate as so.
Last year I wrote that I was confident that 2022 would be another pivotal year for iSTAR Medical – I think it’s safe to say that we have exceeded many expectations. We have grown tremendously, entered exciting new partnerships, presented data which consistently demonstrates the efficacy and success of MINIject®, and have seen many patients throughout Europe benefit from receiving the MINIject® implant to control eye pressure and preserve their vision.
Our outlook for 2023 is just as optimistic. I am convinced it will be filled with tremendous opportunity as we build upon our successes from 2022 and continue to make MINIject® available to more surgeons and patients in existing and new markets. I look forward to sharing our progress with you as it happens in 2023!
Wishing you all a joyful and prosperous holiday season and a great start to the New Year,