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Novartis eye care unit Alcon acquires device company Tear Film Innovations

Alcon Inc., Novartis AG's eye care unit, acquired Tear Film Innovations Inc., a privately held medical device maker.

San Diego-based Tear Film sells iLux, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved device which enables an eye care professional to identify blockages of the meibomian gland in the eyes and apply treatment to unblock the gland. Meibomian gland dysfunction is a leading cause of dry eye, Alcon said in a news release.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition expands Fort Worth, Texas-based Alcon's eye health products, which includes certain therapies for temporarily relieving dry eye symptoms. Alcon plans to expand the iLux device, which is available in the U.S. and Canada, to other countries in 2019.

Switzerland's Novartis is spinning off Alcon as part of its strategy to streamline by focusing on experimental medicines. The spinoff is expected to be completed by the first half of 2019.