The joint venture was established to develop, manufacture and commercialize premium intraocular lenses (IOL) in the Greater China market, including Mainland China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong.
AffaMed Therapeutics, a global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to addressing critical unmet patient need in ophthalmic, neurological and psychiatric disorders, and SIFI S.p.A., a leading international ophthalmic company have entered a joint venture in March 2021.
The Joint Venture will have exclusive rights to SIFI’s range of IOLs, including the premium innovative Mini Well®, Mini Well Toric ® and Mini Well Proxa® lines of Extended Depth of Focus (“EDOF”) IOL lenses. These surgical implants represent the most advanced solutions for cataract refractive surgery, allowing correction of myopia/hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism resulting in spectacle-free uninterrupted high-quality vision at all distances and in all lighting conditions.
Cataract is among the leading public health issues in China today, with the total prevalence estimated at over 100 million, but only approximately 4 million cataract surgeries are currently performed annually. As awareness and access to effective treatment options such as IOL’s increases, the number of cataract surgeries in China is expected to increase by 8 to 10 percent per year, representing one of the highest growth rates globally. With its range of innovative EDOF IOLs expected to be among the most advanced and effective treatment options available to cataract patients in China, the Joint Venture between AffaMed and SIFI will target the underserved premium market for patients seeking a high level of spectacle independence, while it will also provide the highest quality mono focal IOL products to help expand access to treatments for the wider population of patients.
Dr Zhao Dayao, CEO of AffaMed Therapeutics commented that, “The creation of our Joint Venture with SIFI marks an important milestone in strengthening the ability of AffaMed to reach more patients with the highest quality IOLs. Our development and regulatory expertise will enable the partnership to accelerate clinical development and regulatory approval timelines and advance our mission of bringing high-quality and accessible healthcare products to meet significant unmet patient needs in the Greater China market.”
“We are excited to enter into a strategic partnership with AffaMed to access the Greater China market, a significant milestone in our international expansion program.” said Fabrizio Chines, Chairman and CEO of SIFI. “With its successful track record in forging alliances on innovative technologies in key therapeutic areas, AffaMed represents the partner of choice to bring our innovative solutions for cataract surgery to Chinese patients.”
Under the terms of the agreement, AffaMed will provide funding for growth, and support the Joint Venture in clinical development, regulatory affairs and commercial operations, while SIFI will contribute its IP, technical and manufacturing expertise. YAFO Capital (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. acted as financial advisor and DLA Piper as legal and tax advisor on this transaction to SIFI.