Alcon, ThromboGenics market ocriplasmin

March 21, 2012

Alcon Laboratories plans to introduce ocriplasmin in more than 40 countries worldwide under the terms of a new agreement with ThromboGenics that lets it commercialize the truncated form of the human serine protease plasmin in all markets outside the United States.

Leuven, Belgium-Alcon Laboratories plans to introduce ocriplasmin in more than 40 countries worldwide under the terms of a new agreement with ThromboGenics that lets it commercialize the truncated form of the human serine protease plasmin in all markets outside the United States.

ThromboGenics retains all U.S. rights and anticipates a U.S. launch of ocriplasmin, also called microplasmin, within the next 12 months.

Delivered via an intravitreal injection, ocriplasmin is under review by the European Medicines Agency as the first pharmacologic treatment for symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion (VMA) including macular hole.

“There are thousands of symptomatic VMA patients who currently do not have an available treatment option,” said Kevin Buehler, division head of Alcon. “The clinical results for ocriplasmin show improved visual function and that earlier intervention may limit the progression of the disease. Ocriplasmin is a strategic fit for Alcon and is expected to enhance further our portfolio of innovative treatments for the eye.”

In addition to enabling Alcon to commercialize ocriplasmin in markets outside the United States, the agreement specifies that the two companies will work together and share the costs to develop further new clinical applications of the product that the companies will introduce in their respective territories. ThromboGenics will maintain a strategic and focused operational role in the commercialization of ocriplasmin in the five largest European markets, enabling it to build the foundation for an expanding ophthalmology franchise.

“We are pleased that Alcon has recognized the potential of ocriplasmin to change the way symptomatic VMA, including macular hole, is treated,” said Patrik De Haes, MD, chief executive officer of ThromboGenics. “Alcon is the ideal partner for an innovative retinal therapy, given its global sales, marketing, and medical capabilities in the ophthalmic market and its commitment to making ocriplasmin a success.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Alcon will make an up-front payment of about $98.4 million to ThromboGenics, which also will be entitled to about $118 million in potential near-term milestone payments. Additional milestones bring the potential total of up-front and milestone payments to about $492 million, according to ThromboGenics, which also will receive royalties on net sales of ocriplasmin that are commensurate with a product that has successfully completed phase III development and that has been filed for regulatory approval.

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