Press Release

ZEISS and Boehringer Ingelheim join forces to develop early detection of eye diseases and prevent vision loss

2 October 2023

Jena, Germany | Ingelheim, Germany | Carl Zeiss Meditec AG

ZEISS Medical Technology and Boehringer Ingelheim announce today a long-term strategic collaboration to develop predictive analytics to enable early detection of eye diseases and more personalized treatments to prevent vision loss for people with serious eye diseases. The partnership brings together their leading expertise in ophthalmological technology, data analytics, algorithms and the development of first-in-class treatments to detect early and treat retinal diseases before irreversible vision loss occurs.

More than 300 million people worldwide are at risk today of losing their eyesight due to diseases leading to functional loss of the retina.1 The number of people suffering from vision loss is rising due to aging populations and widening health inequity gaps. Undiagnosed and untreated retinal diseases have a profound impact on people’s lives, potentially leading to isolation, loss of independence, depression and reduced quality of life. Unfortunately, diagnosis often occurs too late to prevent vision loss, and for many conditions, no treatment is available at all.

The new partnership will focus on identifying markers of early stages of retinal diseases by leveraging ZEISS Medical Technology’s cloud-connected devices and AI-assisted analysis of massive image data sets. This will provide a basis for clinical studies for development of more personalized and precise treatments of early stages of chronic retinal disease as well as earlier detection and prediction capabilities to preserve vision through new treatment pathways.

“At ZEISS, we have long understood that where collaboration thrives, innovation emerges,“ said Euan S. Thomson, Ph.D., Head of the Ophthalmology Strategic Business Unit and Head of the Digital Business Unit for ZEISS Medical Technology. “With our announcement today with Boehringer Ingelheim, we’re building on our strategy to innovate through partnerships in order to make breakthrough discoveries to combat vision loss and improve people’s lives. Enabled by our ZEISS Medical Ecosystem and the platform’s ability to aggregate massive data sets for analysis, we‘re strongly positioned to establish new partnerships in pursuit of research yet to be investigated, to accelerate access to future technologies and markets, and to help clinicians provide earlier detection and more personalized and precise care for their patients.“

Our partnership with ZEISS Medical Technology will allow us to develop precision therapies delivering the right treatment for the right patient at the right time to prevent vision loss by intervening before irreversible damage occurs. It is part of our commitment to champion early detection and treatment and will contribute to transforming the lives of people with serious eye disease.

Ulrike Graefe-Mody, Ph.D.

Head of Retinal Health at Boehringer Ingelheim

As a leading pioneer of science in optics for more than 100 years, ZEISS’s medical expertise and digital leadership is foundational to the ZEISS Medical Ecosystem and its digitally connected workflows, which are generating millions of data points every day. This connected and secure architecture integrates diagnostic and therapeutic devices supported by a cloud-based platform in which data aggregation, automation and AI analytics can be harnessed to help drive new discoveries to address the clinical challenges facing healthcare professionals and ophthalmologists today. The ZEISS Medical Ecosystem is powered by the ZEISS Health Data Platform, designed to facilitate massive data aggregation at scale, enabling new forms of partnerships focused on leveraging that data to generate new, transformative insights.

Boehringer Ingelheim has a leading understanding of disease biology aiming at a paradigm change in retinal health through earlier detection and intervention to achieve meaningful improvements in patient outcomes. Over the past decade, Boehringer Ingelheim has built a diverse pipeline, which focuses on three priority areas to address retinal conditions – the preservation of vascular function, targeting inflammation and neuroprotection.

About Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that transform lives, today and for generations to come. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term, sustainable perspective. More than 53,000 employees serve over 130 markets in the two business units Human Pharma and Animal Health.
Learn more at www.boehringer-ingelheim.com

Press & Investor Relations Contact

Sebastian Frericks

Director Group Finance & Investor Relations
Carl Zeiss Meditec AG
Phone: +49 3641 220-116
investors.meditec@zeiss.com

Brief profile

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (ISIN: DE0005313704), which is listed on the MDAX 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 4,823 employees worldwide, the Group generated revenue of €2,089.3m in fiscal year 2022/23 (to 30 September).

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 (CARIn) in Bangalore, 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.

For more information visit our website at www.zeiss.com/med

 


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    World Health Organization, World Report on Vision, Executive Summary, October 8, 2019, https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/world-report-on-vision