Novartis finalizes divestment of ‘front of eye’ ophthalmology assets

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According to the company, the divestment includes Xiidra, on-market treatment for dry eye disease and additional ophthalmic investigational therapies. Novartis will now move forward with a focused portfolio and prioritized therapeutic areas for future growth.

According to Novartis, the deal includes $1.75 billion in upfront cash, plus potential additional milestone payments. (Image courtesy of Adobe Stock)

According to Novartis, the deal includes $1.75 billion in upfront cash, plus potential additional milestone payments. (Image courtesy of Adobe Stock)

Novartis this week announced that it has completed its divestment of “front of eye” ophthalmology assets to Bausch + Lomb in a transaction valued up to $2.5 billion.

According to a news release from the company, the deal includes $1.75 billion in upfront cash, plus potential additional milestone payments.

The company also noted the agreement includes Xiidra, the first approved prescription treatment for the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, and investigational medicine SAF312 (libvatrep), in development as a first-in-class therapy for chronic ocular surface pain (COSP), as well as the AcuStream delivery device in dry eye indications and OJL332, a second generation TRPV1 antagonist in pre-clinical development.

Ronny Gal, chief strategy and growth officer of Novartis, said in the news release the company was pleased to finalize the sale.

“The closing of this transaction is a further step forward as we advance our focused portfolio, investing in prioritized therapeutic areas that address high disease burden and hold the greatest potential for Novartis,” Gal said in a statement. “On behalf of Novartis, I‘d like to extend our gratitude to the talented ‘front of eye’ therapy team, who remain committed to bringing Xiidra and these potential treatments to patients into the future as part of Bausch + Lomb.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will receive $1.75 billion in an upfront cash payment and potential milestone payments of up to $750 million linked to the achievement of specified sales milestones for Xiidra, and the achievement of specified commercialization and sales milestones for certain pipeline products in the transaction.

Moreover, the company noted in the release it will, on behalf of Bausch + Lomb, continue to supply Xiidra to patients via transitional agreements for a limited period post-close, to ensure consistent supply for patients.

When the deal was announced in July, Bausch + Lomb noed in a news release the acquisition was strategic, as the company looks to fill out its dry eye portfolio, which currently features a slew of eye and contact lens drops and the newly FDA-approved Miebo (perfluorohexyloctane ophthalmic solution). Miebo is the first and only water-free drop to target tear evaporation to relieve signs and symptoms of DED. Both Xiidra and Miebo target signs and symptoms of dry eye, but each targets distinct elements of the DED cycle, making the therapies complementary to Bausch + Lomb’s portfolio.

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