Lions Eye Institute Propels to World Leader Through Strategic Acquisition


Tampa-Based Eye Bank Purchases International Sight Restoration

 TAMPA, Fla. (February 8, 2017) – The Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research (LEITR) announces the acquisition of International Sight Restoration (ISR) in Tampa to double its size, creating one of the largest eye banks and distributers of corneas in the world.

With the acquisition, LEITR increases its ocular tissue distribution network to about 80 countries. This new reach will help the company bring the gift of sight to almost half of the globe.

“This deal will bring sight to more people around the world because of Lions Eye Institute’s large donation pool combined with ISR’s vast distribution network,” said LEITR CEO Jason K. Woody. “Additionally, surgeons and patients in the United States and internationally will benefit from our combined technological resources.”

With the acquisition, LEITR becomes one of Tampa’s most international companies and the size of the merger contributes to a burgeoning life sciences industry in the city. LEITR now has offices across Florida, in Louisiana and in Mexico. The deal has been in the process for about six months.

Already one of the largest combined eye banks and research centers in the United States, Lions Eye Institute’s new international distribution network positions the company to take advantage of consolidation trends to increase efficiency and improve outcomes for corneal transplant patients.

“The LEI/ISR deal is a representation of the future of our industry,” said ISR CEO Christina Sanchez Miller. “Corneal surgeries and medical technologies are advancing at a rapid pace, and through this partnership we will be uniquely able to meet the needs of surgeons and patients worldwide.”

About the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research (LEITR)

The Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research, Inc., (LEITR) is a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to the recovery, evaluation and distribution of eye tissue for transplantation, research and education. LEITR’s Eye Bank, located in Tampa, Fla., is one of the only combined eye bank and ocular research center in the world.  Since its inception, it has brought the “Gift of Sight” to more than 65,000 men, women and children worldwide. For more information, visit

Some facts about Lions Eye Institute in 2016

Employees – 73

No. of countries serviced – 32

No. of offices –  6

Corneas placed in 2016 –  3,583 distributed both here and abroad

Corneal tissue recovered in 2016 – 3,389


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              

 Media Contact:

Chris Wilkerson, ChappellRoberts