Novartis acquires Amblyotech, pursuing novel digital therapy for children and adult patients with “lazy eye”
- Technology has potential to reimagine treatment for amblyopia ("lazy eye”), a leading cause of vision loss in children and young adults1
- Acquisition expands the Novartis refractive disorder pipeline in ophthalmology
- Novartis will work with Ubisoft and McGill University to accelerate product development to enable faster uptake for patients—PoC studies planned later in 2020
Basel, April 20, 2020 — Novartis announced today that it has completed the acquisition of Amblyotech, a US-based software startup, and will, in collaboration with Ubisoft and McGill University, pursue the development of the acquired digital technology for the treatment of amblyopia.
It is estimated that amblyopia affects roughly 3% of the global population, some of whom could be appropriate candidates for this therapy if approved1. The condition can lead to poor vision and other quality of life issues if left untreated2. The condition can impact children and adults beyond their vision, making it difficult to drive and maintain a sense of autonomy. Current treatment options, including patching and/or atropine, are associated with low compliance and low success rates3. Approved therapies for adults are limited.
Designed to enhance compliance, Amblyotech utilizes active gaming and passive video technology with 3-D glasses, training the eyes to work together to view an image in full. Its software employs a unique visual presentation, called dichoptic display, where each eye is presented with different images using a proprietary algorithm. In early clinical studies, Amblyotech’s software demonstrated improvements in vision in both children and adults with faster onset compared to standard of care treatments4.
"By offering a noninvasive solution that has the potential to be significantly faster than current standards of care such as patching for children and adults impacted by lazy eye, Amblyotech’s software is a great example of how we can reimagine medicine using digital technology,” said Nikos Tripodis, Global Business Franchise Head, Ophthalmology. "We look forward to using our deep clinical development expertise in ophthalmology to accelerate this platform toward regulatory approval, and our global commercial footprint to maximize access for patients who need it.”
With the transaction closing, Novartis plans to work in partnership with video game developer, Ubisoft, to develop the Amblyotech software as a medical device (SaMD), create a series of engaging games for the device, and conduct a proof of concept study (PoC), planned for later in 2020.
This media update contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as "potential,” "can,” "will,” "plan,” "may,” "could,” "would,” "expect,” "anticipate,” "seek,” "look forward,” "believe,” "committed,” "investigational,” "pipeline,” "launch,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this media update, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this media update will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding such products could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures and requirements for increased pricing transparency; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; general political, economic and business conditions, including the effects of and efforts to mitigate pandemic diseases such as COVID-19; safety, quality, data integrity or manufacturing issues; potential or actual data security and data privacy breaches, or disruptions of our information technology systems, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this media update as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this media update as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com.
Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis at
For Novartis multimedia content, please visit https://www.novartis.com/news/media-library
For questions about the site or required registration, please contact email@example.com
- Narinesingh C, Wan W, et al. Amblyopia: A Study Using the McGurk Effect. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 2014;55:3158-3164.
- National Eye Institute. Amblyopia. https://www.nei.nih.gov/sites/default/files/health-pdfs/FactsAbout_AMBLYOaPIA_2015.pdf. Accessed November 8, 2019.
- Nucci P, Alfarano R, Piantanida A, et al. Compliance in antiamblyopia occlusion therapy. Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh). 1992;70:128-131. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-3768.1992.tb02104.x.
- Kelly KR, Jost RM, et al. Binocular iPad Game vs Patching for Treatment of Amblyopia in Children: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Ophthalmology. 2016;134(12):1402-1408.
# # #
Novartis Media Relations
| Peter Zuest |
Novartis External Communications
+41 79 899 9812 (mobile)
Novartis US External Communications
+1 646 438 4335
| Amy Wolf |
Novartis Division Communications
+41 61 696 58 94 (direct)
+41 79 576 07 23 (mobile)
Novartis Investor Relations
Central investor relations line: +41 61 324 7944
|Samir Shah||+41 61 324 7944||Sloan Simpson||+1 862 778 5052|
|Pierre-Michel Bringer||+41 61 324 1065||Cory Twining||+1 862 778 3258|
|Thomas Hungerbuehler||+41 61 324 8425|
|Isabella Zinck||+41 61 324 7188|
Nachrichten zu Novartis AG
||Novartis stellt an neurologischem Fachkongress Daten zum MS-Mittel Kesimpta vor - Novartis-Aktie leicht in Rot (AWP)|
||Novartis produziert künftig für Roche Actemra in Singapur (AWP)|
||Studie: Novartis und Roche unter den 50 innovativsten Unternehmen (AWP)|
||Erste Schätzungen: Novartis vermeldet Zahlen zum jüngsten Quartal (finanzen.net)|
||März 2021: So schätzen Experten die Novartis-Aktie ein (finanzen.net)|
||Novartis baut Onkologie-Pipeline über Zusammenarbeit mit Artios Pharma aus - Aktie dennoch rot (AWP)|