B + L places focus on innovation in pharma, surgical, vision care

July 15, 2017

Bausch + Lomb (B + L) is more than one of the oldest eye care companies in the industry. It is also one of the broadest, with portfolios in contact lenses, consumer eye products, cataract surgery, intraocular lenses, retina surgery, and a wide range of ophthalmic pharmaceutical products.

Bausch + Lomb (B + L) is more than one of the oldest eye care companies in the industry. It is also one of the broadest, with portfolios in contact lenses, consumer eye products, cataract surgery, intraocular lenses, retina surgery, and a wide range of ophthalmic pharmaceutical products.

The company also has busy pipeline working on novel drug delivery systems and the first glaucoma medication to exploit nitric oxide as a mechanism to expand the trabecular meshwork and enhance outflow.

“Focusing on innovation, moving innovation forward, is what drives us all every day,” said Tracy M. Valorie, MBA, senior vice president, general manager, B + L Pharmaceutical and Valeant Women’s Health. “Fifty percent of the entire Valeant organization revenues are anchored against B+ L. That sets the tone of the importance of eye care to the organization and of the importance of B + L to Valeant. B + L has a heritage of 164 years of eye care.”

Valorie discussed the current B + L portfolio and future directions for an Industry Spotlight during the New Horizons Forum, held in conjunction with the 2017 Glaucoma 360 meeting.

Valeant, which acquired B + L in 2013, named Joseph Papa chairman and CEO in May 2016. The company derives 30% of revenues from branded pharmaceuticals, she noted, and 20% from diversified product, such as anti-inflammatories, anti-infectives, neurologics, and other categories.

Partnership programs

 

Partnership programs

The company also has active partnership programs with both patients and providers.

“We have a dedicated team of individuals who come to work every day and focus only on eye care, thinking about innovation and collaborating with patients and physicians across the country,” Valorie said. “We want to make sure that we get every product right as we continue to generate opportunities for the future.”

The vision consumer and vision care portfolio includes new contact lens platforms utilizing novel materials and a heavy manufacturing investment in Rochester, NY. The consumer health side includes solutions to support contact lens users, as well as products that span from dry eye and vitamins to allergy to multi-purpose solutions.

The premium vision cataract portfolio includes the Victus Femtosecond Laser System, Stellaris Vision Enhancement System, enVista IOLs, and toric IOLs under the Crystalens and Trulign brands.

Retina surgery includes the Stellaris system as well as retina accessories, including single-use instruments, laser probes, illuminators, chandeliers, and more. The pharmaceutical ophthalmic portfolio includes over a dozen familiar names backed by an access program that is supported by Walgreens and participating independent pharmacies to improve patient access.

“Our access program allows us the ability to offer patients very low cost for all of the pharmaceutical products in our portfolio,” Valorie said. “The most important consideration is that patients have access to physicians who can prescribe the product they most want for each specific patient and ensure that patients are not inhibited by cost.”

20 new instruments

 

20 new instruments

The surgical platform is adding more than 20 new instruments in 2017, she continued. Surgeons can expect new devices and technologies, such as the Clarisert preloaded aspheric IOL and a capsular tension ring, all awaiting clearance by the FDA. Also, new are the Stellaris Elite System for cataract and retina surgery and Vitesse Vitrectomy System (all FDA approved in April 2017).

On the pharmaceutical side, look for new data from phase II trials for a novel transscleral iontophoresis, drug-delivery system. The system is being developed under license from EyeGate Pharma and uses low-level, electrical current to deliver precise doses of ophthalmic pharmaceuticals directly into the eye without the burden of drops or injections.

Current work suggests that ocular iontophoresis is capable of delivering substantially higher drug concentrations than traditional topical applications, which can lead to greater bioavailability and more sustained therapeutic effect while reducing the frequency of dosing.

A phase III clinical trial of a corticosteroid for anterior uveitis produced the same rate of clinical response using just 2 treatments compared to a minimum of 154 topical treatments using corticosteroid drops over a 4-week period.

New glaucoma drug

 

New glaucoma drug

The single most exciting development project is latanoprostene bunod (LBN, Vyzulta), a prostaglandin analogue that acts as a nitric oxide donor. The agent has two mechanisms of action, the familiar latanoprost effect of increasing uveoscleral outflow, with nitric oxide donation acting to increase outflow through the trabecular meshwork.

Two recent phase III studies found that LBN provided a mean reduction in IOP of 7.5-9.1 mm Hg over 3 months of treatment, a result that was statistically superior to timolol between 2 and 12 weeks. There were no significant safety findings from either trial.

“We are excited to be working on an investigational product that provides two mechanisms of action to deal with elevated ocular pressure,” Valorie said. “We are looking forward to the potential and the possibility for this agent to serve both patients and physicians in the future.”