Allergan’s commitment to its eye care business includes advancing new products for both the front and back of the eye, CEO Brent Saunders said at the 37th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.
The company’s business plan included a $400 million cost reduction program at the beginning of 2018 and a decision to narrow its focus to four key areas: eye care, medical aesthetics, central nervous system and gastrointestinal.
“This summer we undertook an extensive review of our strategy and made a very clear decision that we would focus on four therapeutic areas where we can win,” Saunders said.
In its eye care arm, Allergan has two focuses: the front of the eye and the back of the eye. In its programs for the front of the eye, it is looking at the probable loss of exclusivity for its dry eye treatment Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05%) but is focusing on glaucoma products for the future.
“Today, the biggest issue patients and doctors face with glaucoma is compliance and persistence. They simply do not take their medicine,” Saunders said. “So rather than focusing on finding the next incremental, better eye drop, we decided a couple years ago that we need to solve the compliance and persistence issue.”
To do this, Allergan is aiming to move away from drop therapy options and look at dropless therapies. Its bimatoprost sustained-release implant has shown positive results in two phase 3 studies, and the company plans to apply for its approval by the end of 2019.
In the back of the eye, Allergan’s product pipeline includes treatment candidates for neovascular age-related macular degeneration, geographic atrophy and diabetic macular edema.
Abicipar, its most-advanced retinal product, has shown positive results in two phase 3 studies, and the ongoing MAPLE study is evaluating the drug’s formulation.
“I am very proud of Allergan’s heritage in eye care. This is a very important space for us,” Saunders said. – by Rebecca L. Forand
Saunders B. Allergan. Presented at: 37th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference; Jan. 7-10, 2019; San Francisco.