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Bausch & Lomb acquires OTC allergy franchise of Alimera Sciences


Rochester, NY-Bausch & Lomb has purchased the over-the-counter (OTC) allergy franchise of Alimera Sciences Inc., a privately held company based in Atlanta.

Rochester, NY-Bausch & Lomb has purchased the over-the-counter (OTC) allergy franchise of Alimera Sciences Inc., a privately held company based in Atlanta.

“We are delighted by this transaction with a leading company like Bausch & Lomb and their valuation of our allergy franchise,” said Dan Myers, president and chief executive officer of Alimera. “The monetization of this franchise represents a strong return on our investment in the OTC business and allows us to focus our attention and resources on Medidur, our investigational drug currently in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of diabetic macular edema, and to pursue the development of other drug delivery technologies.”

Among the products included in the sale was Alaway (ketotifen fumarate ophthalmic solution 0.025%), an antihistamine that received FDA approval in early December for the temporary relief of itchy eyes. According to the companies, the product contains the same active ingredient and strength and has been shown to be therapeutically equivalent to Zaditor, a Novartis Ophthalmics prescription product expected to be available OTC this month.

“The acquisition of Alaway not only enhances our current OTC product portfolio by giving us a stronger and longer-lasting product to address the needs of consumers who suffer itchy eyes, but it also gives us an excellent technology platform for the development of product line extensions in the ocular allergy category,” said Gary M. Phillips, MD, corporate vice president and global pharmaceutical category leader for Bausch & Lomb.

Alimera initially filed a new drug application for Alaway with the FDA in February 2006. It was the company’s first such application. The product is expected to be available to consumers in the spring.

Alimera was launched with venture capital in 2003 to develop and commercialize OTC and prescription ophthalmologic pharmaceuticals. In 2004 it introduced Soothe, an OTC artificial tear product. The phase III trial of Medidur began in 2005; the implant contains fluocinolone acetonide.

Financial details of the Bausch & Lomb purchase were not disclosed.

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