Allergan acquires eye specialist Oculeve

Allergan has gone on a shopping spree again and is buying Oculeve, a US company that specialises in treatments for dry eye disease treatments.

The Ireland-headquartered company is paying $125 million upfront, plus milestone payments related to Oculeve’s lead development candidate OD-01, a nasal neurostimulation device that increases tear production in patients with dry eye disease. The latter is estimated to affect 25 million patients in the USA alone.

OD-01 has completed four studies in more than 200 patients and is expected to be submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration in 2016.

David Nicholson, head of global brands R&D at Allergan, said the OD-01 programme has been shown to provide a strong safety and efficacy profile. If approved, it would provide “an exciting new treatment option for patients that is complementary to our existing product offerings in this important treatment area”, he added.

Allergan is best-known for the anti-wrinkle blockbuster Botox but the firm is also a major player in eye healthcare. As well as a leading position in contact lenses, Allergan already has treatments for dry eye, as well as for glaucoma, retinal disease and a range of other eye conditions.

Last month, Allergan said it would pay $2.1 billion to buy US group Kythera and its double-chin drug Kybella (deoxycholic acid). The latter is the first and only approved non-surgical treatment for double chin (or severe submental fullness), which gained US clearance in April.

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