Novartis has signed a licensing and commercialisation agreement with Ophthotech for a new treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD).
The deal gives Novartis the right to market the drug Fovista in territories outside the US, in exchange for an upfront fee of $200 million (118.38 million pounds) and potential future recruitment and other milestone payments, plus sales-based royalties.
“Novartis has obtained rights to commercialise a new wet age-related macular degeneration therapy from Ophthotech.“
Fovista is currently being studied in combination with anti-VEGF agents as a treatment for wet AMD. Novartis is also set to develop a new co-formulation of Fovista with one of its own proprietary anti-VEGF treatments.
In phase II clinical studies, a combination therapy of Fovista and Lucentis was shown to significantly improve baseline visual acuity in wet AMD patients
David Epstein, division head at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, said: "If approved, Fovista is expected to be the first to market in this class of therapies for wet AMD, confirming our commitment and leadership in the ophthalmology space."
Last month, the company announced positive phase IV trial data for Onbrez Breezhaler, showing the approved product's effectiveness in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.