Carl Zeiss Meditec and Precise Bio, a regenerative medicine company advancing the use of bio-printed tissues and organs, announced today that the companies have entered into a partnership to develop and commercialize fabricated corneal tissue for transplants in patients that require endothelial keratoplasty and natural lenticule transplants for treating keratoconus and vision correction.
Under the terms of the agreement, Carl Zeiss Meditec will invest in Precise Bio and fund the further development of Precise Bio's two cornea transplant products and has exclusive worldwide commercialization rights for these products. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"This investment in Precise Bio is expected to complement our leading portfolio of cataract and corneal refractive workflow solutions. The technology has the potential to advance treatment options for corneal disease, as well as for elective procedures – furthering enabling optimization of patient care."
Euan S. Thomson, PhD, President of Ophthalmic Devices and Head of the Digital Business Unit for Carl Zeiss Meditec
"We are very excited with this partnership that builds on our successful, ongoing collaboration with ZEISS for the development of corneal tissues to address unmet needs in the field of ophthalmology," stated Aryeh Batt, Co- Founder and CEO of Precise Bio. "This strategic agreement leverages ZEISS' global leadership in ophthalmology and Precise' innovative and unique 4D bio-fabrication platform technology. We are confident that the synergy between the two companies will allow us to develop breakthrough solutions for recovering patients' eyesight, bringing hope to hundreds of millions of patients worldwide."
Precise Bio combines engineering, biomaterials, cell technology, bioengineering, and 3D printing into an unparalleled 4D bio-fabrication platform for transplantable organs and tissues. The Company's proprietary platform technology allows to fabricate tissues by 'printing' cells in a single-cell resolution and spatial accuracy, enabling complex organoid constructs with both structural integrity and long-term cell viability. Overcoming multiple technology challenges, Precise Bio's 4D bio-fabrication technology allows to reliably scale up tissue engineering for clinical use, and produce large quantities in a reproducible, quality controlled and cost-effective process. Precise Bio's ophthalmological pipeline consists of three products, the two cornea products that are the subject of the collaboration with Carl Zeiss Meditec and a retinal implant for age-related macular degeneration, all of which demonstrated successful results in animal models. The Company's ophthalmological products address global markets exceeding $10 billion annually.
Bio-fabricated tissues comprised of human cells and natural materials, mimicking the anatomical structure and natural tissue components, can replace damaged or diseased tissue, substitute for donor tissue in cases where there is lack of tissue or solve unmet therapeutic needs.
Carl Zeiss Meditec AG AX and TecDAX of the German stock exchange, is one of the world's leading medical technology companies. The Company supplies innovative technologies and application-oriented solutions designed to help doctors improve the quality of life of their patients. The Company offers complete solutions, including implants and consumables, to diagnose and treat eye diseases. The Company creates innovative visualization solutions in the field of microsurgery. With approximately 3,531 employees worldwide, the Group generated revenue of €1,646.8m in fiscal year 2020/2.
The Group's head office is located in Jena, Germany, and it has subsidiaries in Germany and abroad; more than 50 percent of its employees are based in the USA, Japan, Spain and France. The Center for Application and Research ore, India and the Carl Zeiss Innovations Center for Research and Development in Shanghai, China, strengthen the Company's presence in these rapidly developing economies. Around 41 percent of Carl Zeiss Meditec AG's shares are in free float. The remaining approx. 59 percent are held by Carl Zeiss AG, one of the world's leading groups in the optical and optoelectronic industries.
About Precise Bio
Precise Bio develops regenerative medicine therapies that can transform patient care across a wide range of medical indications. Precise Bio's proprietary, break-through 4D bio-fabricating platform overcomes limitations of existing extrusion and ink-jet printers and paves the way for fabricating clinically viable tissues and organs. The Company's initial product pipeline is focused on ophthalmology and includes fabricated functional corneal grafts, intrastromal lenticules for treating keratoconus and vision correction, and a retinal implant for age-related macular degeneration. The Company also has earlier R&D programs to address unmet needs in additional medical indications, which are limited by the number of available donor tissues and organs, or where today's critical health problems can be solved using Precise Bio's naturally-based, hyper-accurate technology.