DUBLIN and MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), a leading global pharmaceutical company, and ForSight VISION5, a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on eye care, today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Allergan will acquire ForSight VISION5. Under the terms of the agreement, Allergan will acquire ForSight VISION5 for a $95 million upfront payment and a launch milestone payment related to ForSight's lead development program, a peri-ocular ring designed for extended drug delivery and reducing elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma patients.
"The acquisition of ForSight and its ocular ring technology builds on Allergan's rich history and deep commitment to eye care innovation," said Brent Saunders, CEO and President of Allergan. "Allergan has been a leader in the development and introduction of novel treatments for underserved eye conditions, including glaucoma, chronic dry eye disease and other ocular conditions. The acquisition of this ring technology demonstrates our commitment to advancing products that can profoundly change the way patients receive treatment – through innovation that helps address non-compliance, increases adherence and improves tolerability."
Today, the most common treatment to lower elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in open-angle glaucoma is eye drop therapies. Nearly half of patients who are prescribed eye drops to manage their glaucoma may stop refilling their prescriptions after six months, often because of difficulty in using drops.i
The ring is a preservative-free, non-invasive peri-ocular product that rests on the surface of the eye (under the eyelids). It is inserted by an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist, and releases medication (bimatoprost) over multiple months to lower elevated IOP in glaucoma and ocular hypertensive patients.
In 2015, ForSight announced results of its first randomized, controlled Phase 2 study comparing the investigational ring to twice-daily timolol eye drops. Data demonstrated that a single administration of the ring provided sustained reduction in IOP for six months with a reduction of 4-6 mmHg at the study's primary endpoint of 12 weeks. Approximately 90 percent of subjects retained inserts in both eyes for 6 months without clinician assistance.
"ForSight's ring technology has been shown to provide long-term intraocular pressure reduction through a non-invasive, passive technology for glaucoma and ocular hypertensive patients. If approved, this technology could provide an important advance to address the significant challenges of patient compliance and adherence in glaucoma, a disease that is expected to impact more than 80 million people worldwide by 2020 and be a leading cause of blindness globally," said David Nicholson, Chief R&D Officer, Allergan. "Importantly, this technology would also be highly complementary to our ongoing portfolio and development programs that are moving glaucoma treatment toward dropless therapies."
"With its historic expertise in eye care innovation and commercialization, its strong collaboration with the eye care community and its commitment to being a leading provider of game-changing dropless treatments for glaucoma, Allergan was a natural choice and a compelling partner for us to maximize the potential of our ring technology," said Andy Corley, Executive Chairman, ForSight VISION5. "The addition of the ring technology to Allergan's world-class eye care development and commercialization organization represents a great day for clinicians and patients seeking an innovative solution for the challenges of glaucoma treatment."
"A safe and effective extra-ocular drug delivery therapeutic option is particularly suitable for the many patients with mild-to-moderate glaucomatous disease in whom more invasive modalities may not be ideal from a risk/benefit standpoint," said Dr. Kuldev Singh, Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Glaucoma Service, Stanford University.
The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed within 60 days.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye's optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness.ii Several large studies have shown that eye pressure is a major risk factor for optic nerve damage.i In open-angle glaucoma, even though an ocular fluid drainage angle is "open", the fluid passes too slowly through a meshwork drain.i When the fluid builds up, the pressure inside the eye rises to a level that may damage the optic nerve.i When the optic nerve is damaged from increased pressure, open-angle glaucoma-and vision loss may result.i In 2010, 60.5 million people globally were living with glaucoma.ii Given the aging of the world's population, the number of people living with glaucoma may increase to nearly 80 million by 2020.iii
About Allergan plc
Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a bold, global pharmaceutical company and a leader in a new industry model – Growth Pharma. Allergan is focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceuticals, devices and biologic products for patients around the world.
Allergan markets a portfolio of leading brands and best-in-class products for the central nervous system, eye care, medical aesthetics and dermatology, gastroenterology, women's health, urology and anti-infective therapeutic categories.
Allergan is an industry leader in Open Science, the Company's R&D model, which defines our approach to identifying and developing game-changing ideas and innovation for better patient care. This approach has led to Allergan building one of the broadest development pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry with 65+ mid-to-late stage pipeline programs in development.
Our Company's success is powered by our more than 16,000 global colleagues' commitment to being Bold for Life. Together, we build bridges, power ideas, act fast and drive results for our customers and patients around the world by always doing what is right.
With commercial operations in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives.
For more information, visit Allergan's website at www.Allergan.com.
About ForSight VISION5, Inc
ForSight VISION5, Inc. was founded in January of 2011 as the fifth company to emerge from the ophthalmic incubator ForSight Labs, LLC. ForSight VISION5 is focused on developing non-invasive drug delivery products that replace eye drops and provide sustained therapy for major eye diseases including glaucoma, dry eye, and allergy. ForSight VISION5's lead peri-optical ring product candidate, a novel, non-invasive delivery system designed to allow glaucoma and ocular hypertensive patients to receive medication continually. ForSight VISION5's investors include Versant Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, Technology Partners, Delphi Ventures, and H.I.G. BioVentures.
Statements contained in this press release that refer to future events or other non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Allergan's current perspective of existing trends and information as of the date of this release. Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from Allergan's current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Allergan's business. These factors include, among others, the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of FDA approvals or actions, if any; the impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance of and continued demand for Allergan's products; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Allergan's periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Allergan's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 (certain of such periodic public filings having been filed under the "Actavis plc" name). Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
i Nordstrom, BL et al. "Persistence and Adherence with Topical Glaucoma Therapy" Am J Ophthalmol 2005;140:598–606.
ii National Eye Institute – Glaucoma Facts: https://nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts
iii Bright Focus Foundation – Glaucoma Facts & Figures: http://www.brightfocus.org/glaucoma/article/glaucoma-facts-figures
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