Allergan (NYSE: AGN) said today it inked a deal to buy drug-eluting ophthalmological implant maker ForSight Vision5 for $95 million up front, with a possible milestone payment for launching its drug-eluting device.
Pharmaceutical giant Allergan said the device, known as the Helios ring, is designed for extended drug delivery and for reducing intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients. The Helios is designed to rest on the surface of the eye under the eyelids to release bimatoprost over multiple months to lower IOP in glaucoma and ocular hypertensive patients, Allergan said.
“The acquisition of ForSight and its ocular ring technology builds on Allergan’s rich history and deep commitment to eye care innovation. 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,” Allergan CEO Brent Saunders said in a press release.
In May, ForSight released Phase II trial data which indicated its Helios ring lowered intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients by about 20% after 6 months. The 130-patient Phase II trial compared 64 patients implanted with the Helios ring with a control arm of 66 patients implanted with a placebo ring who used 0.5% timolol drops twice a day.
“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. Importantly, this technology would also be highly complementary to our ongoing portfolio and development programs that are moving glaucoma treatment toward dropless therapies,” Allergan chief R&D officer David Nicholson said in a prepared statement.
Eye pressure in the Helios group fell by 3.2mmHg to 6.4mmHg at 6 months, compared with a decline of 4.2mmHG to 6.4mmHG mmHG for the control arm. Both groups showed a retention rate of 89%; the ring became dislodged in 15 patients but was replaced each time.
“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. 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,” ForSight Vision5 exec chair Andy Corley said in prepared remarks.
“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,” Dr. Kuldev Singh of Stanford University said in a prepared release.