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One To Watch | Mar 2017

Committed to Eye Care

Roberto Muñoz Chief Commercial Officer, Katena

Roberto Muñoz Chief Commercial Officer, Katena

CRST: Please give us a snapshot of what is happening at the company.

Mr. Muñoz: It is a fun and exciting time to be at Katena. We are investing in the company and growing faster than the market. Katena was founded with a mission to work with surgeons to help solve the problems they faced with world-class ophthalmic surgical instruments and products. Today, we are more committed to that vision than ever. With so many mergers and acquisitions going on in our industry, I want to emphasize that we are 100% committed to the ophthalmic space. We are not going to stray.

We have products with market-leading positions; a broad, comprehensive portfolio; and an outstanding brand name and reputation. Katena stands for quality, and this reputation is something that is backed up by the fact that we sell our products in more than 110 different countries. We are growing significantly, and we are heavily investing in our team so that we can serve our customers even better. Our sales team is positioned to meet our customers’ changing needs. We are the only company that has a dedicated, direct sales force for instruments, biologics, and devices.

All of these investments highlight how optimistic we are about growth in the market.

CRST: Although you cannot reveal much about potential acquisitions, can you share what your strategy is for evaluating opportunities?

Mr. Muñoz: We have the best instruments in the world, and that is a great foundation as a company. We want to enable our customers to perform office procedures and OR surgery with the best and most reliable instruments and products. We value our role as a partner to the MDs and ODs who do such a great job for their patients. We want to build upon this heritage; we will not be going into oncology or cardiology or orthopedics. We will stay focused.

CRST: How are you staying focused?

Mr. Muñoz: We want to provide our customers with broader solutions in the space, as you can see by our recent acquisitions. The moves we are making are complementary: we acquired IOP Ophthalmics, which gave us a biologic agent; we acquired Sensor Medical Technology on the lens side and Eagle Vision, giving us a position in the punctal plug arena as well. These are well-established brands with great reputations, and we are number 1 or number 2 in each of these segments of the market.

We want acquisitions that make sense to our customers. We are expanding in the dry eye space and considering opportunities that work well to enhance our nice bag of solutions. We are looking to be aggressive when it comes to rounding out our existing portfolio and adding to the mix. At the same time, we remain dedicated to providing the best instruments in the world, both in the hospital setting and for surgeons in the ambulatory surgery center environment.

CRST: Have you been talking much internally about proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act and how health care reform may reshape the landscape of eye care?

Mr. Muñoz: We concentrate on worrying about things we can control. We can predict that things will change, but fundamentally, we are in the ophthalmic space—a fantastic, growing market. We know that baby boomers, for example, expect great eyesight and that the global ophthalmic market is in the neighborhood of $40 billion. The demographics are contributing to the growth: increased life expectancies, aging populations, and a rising prevalence of diabetes.

We see the Affordable Care Act as noise. We prefer to focus on the market and the incredible skill of our customers. The investments being made by companies like Katena bode very well for the market.

Important Acquisitions


Katena Products announced the acquisition of Sensor Medical Technologies, a developer of single-use and reusable diagnostic and therapeutic lenses for the eye care market.

“The acquisition of Sensor Medical Technologies is an important addition to Katena’s product portfolio,” Bill Friedberg, CEO of Katena Products, said in a company news release. “Sensor Medical Technologies’ disposable and reusable lenses represent an improvement to current clinical practice as it relates to consistently better optics, while eliminating the chance of disease transmission. We enthusiastically welcome the Sensor Medical Technologies team to Katena and look forward to working together to grow the business.”


Katena announced its purchase of Eagle Vision. Founded over 30 years ago by Jerre Freeman, MD, Eagle Vision became a market leader in the punctal plug product category. These plugs, along with other ancillary devices, are primarily used by eye care providers in the treatment of dry eye disease.