Laboratoires Thea Acquires Rights to Commercialize 19 Ophthalmic Products in 30 Countries in Europe, as Well as Turkey, Canada and Mexico

Mar 31, 2011, 09:13 ET from Laboratoires Thea

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France, March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Laboratoires Thea, the leading independent ophthalmic group in Europe, continues its expansion in ophthalmology with the announcement of the acquisition of a broad range of products in the EEA, Canada, Mexico and Turkey, from Novartis. This deal will significantly strengthen the company's geographical presence through the opening of new affiliates in countries where Laboratoires Thea products were either sold through distributors or unavailable to-date. The newly acquired products will also reinforce the company's overall activities in the area of eye allergies, inflammation and dry eye.

"This acquisition represents a major step in our growth strategy and opens numerous cross- fertilization opportunities for both our existing and new businesses" said Laboratoires Thea President Jean-Frederic Chibret. The synergies that can be explored around the combined product portfolios will help boost sales both for the Laboratoires Thea and former Novartis product ranges. In addition, the company has already started to build up its sales forces within the new affiliates (Nordic countries, Austria, Turkey, Canada). As soon as these positions are filled, Thea will have more than 250 medical reps fully dedicated to ophthalmology in Europe. This will allow the company to reach considerably more ophthalmologists with a broader range of products and thereby better meet the needs of millions of patients each year. With these capabilities, the company is in an ideal position to take on further partnership and distribution opportunities in the field of ophthalmology, globally and in particular across Europe as well as new countries such as Turkey, Canada and Mexico.

Laboratoires Thea is now able to meet even more of the everyday needs of ophthalmologists whatever their type of practice. Among the better known brands that Laboratoires Thea will be able to market are ZADITEN(R) Ophtha, VOLTAREN(R) Ophtha and OCULOTECT(R), in certain jurisdictions. The two new areas in which the company will be engaged include diagnostics with FLUORESCEINE(TM) and multi-purpose contact lens solutions from the former CIBA Vision SOLOCARE(R) range.

It is important to note that the company's growth will not just rely on strategic acquisitions, but also on the ingenuity of its R&D. In fact, the increase in overall company revenues will generate greater R&D expenditures to support the historical organic growth. Dr Dominique Batou, General Manager, adds that "Thea's strategy is based on research that is reflected in the innovative molecules, new delivery systems and new pharmaceutical product forms that we were first to market". Some prominent examples include Laboratoires Thea's launch of ABAK(r), the first ever preservative-free multi-dose eye drop system, one of the 1st dry eye gels, the 1st anti-herpetic gel specifically designed for the eye and the 1st 3-day ophthalmic antibiotic treatment. In the area of eyelid hygiene and eye nutrition, Thea has again been breaking new ground through its contribution to a better understanding of meybomian gland dysfunction and the role of ocular nutrition.

In line with this strong history, the company aims to continue down this path towards innovation in ophthalmology through its shareholder status in Sisene, a Biotech start-up exploring new applications for anti-angiogenesis that could perhaps one day be used to fight AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration). Additionally, a partnership has been initiated with the Vision Institute in Paris, one of the largest integrated research centers in Europe on vision related diseases.

About Laboratoires Thea

Laboratoires Thea is the leading independent ophthalmic group in Europe. Founded in 1994, the company is a family business built on the heritage of over 150 years experience of the Chibret Family in Ophthalmology.

Today, Thea is ranked 3rd in France, 6th in Europe and 7th worldwide in the field of Ophthalmology. The company is present in 65 countries, owns 11 subsidiaries in Europe and had a turnover of EUR 192 million in 2010.

    Media contact
    Burson-Marsteller France
    Tel. +33-1-41-86-76-26 - Cell: +33-6-07-59-43-95

SOURCE Laboratoires Thea