Montreal and Madison, NJ—Bausch + Lomb (B + L) has acquired an option to license an investigational compound currently in phase II development for the treatment of dry eye syndrome. The compound, called MIM-D3 and developed by Mimetogen Pharmaceuticals Inc., has the potential to be the first in a new class of agents called TrkA agonists, said the companies in a joint statement.
Current dry eye therapies work to increase tear production, but do not address tear quality. MIM-D3 stimulates the production of mucin, which plays a critical role in the protection and overall health of the ocular surface, according to both companies. Mucins are essential for lubrication; the removal of allergens, pathogens, and debris; and corneal epithelial healing to reduce ocular surface damage. MIM-D3 may have additional benefits than current dry eye therapies, including the potential to improve neural function, which may improve corneal sensitivity and integrity.
Phase II study results for MIM-D3 demonstrated that the use of MIM-D3, dosed twice a day, results in consistent improvements across multiple dry eye signs and symptoms with no safety or tolerability issues. A phase III study is scheduled to begin before the end of 2013.
Under the terms of the agreement, B + L will pay Mimetogen an upfront payment as an option fee to secure the right to acquire an exclusive global license on set terms triggered by the availability of top line results from a phase III study. Should B + L choose to pursue development based on phase III results, the company will assume all development responsibilities and costs, and also will pay development milestones, sales milestones, and royalty fees to Mimetogen.
“B + L is committed to delivering effective ophthalmic therapeutic solutions for eye-care professionals (ECPs) and their patients, and dry eye represents a significant unmet need,” said Cal Roberts, MD, chief medical officer for B + L. “Given the promising results of the phase II studies, we are excited about the potential of giving ECPs a new choice for treating one of the most common and bothersome eye conditions.”
“B + L and Mimetogen share a commitment to developing new and effective therapies that address unmet medical needs,” said Garth Cumberlidge, PhD, president and chief executive officer of Mimetogen. “We are thrilled to be working with such a respected partner as B + L. The company’s commitment to innovation, expertise, and resources, combined with its global reach and powerful brand, will help ensure that, if approved, this technology will reach its full potential for the millions of people suffering from dry eye syndrome.”
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