Alimera Sciences announced that its subsidiary, Alimera Sciences B.V., has begun shipping Iluvien, an eye implant for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME), to MEAgate International FZLLC, headquartered in Dubai, for named patient sales in the Middle East. MEAgate is the Iluvien distributor for Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen, where combined an estimated 16 million people today are living with diabetes.
Following the successful completion of a technical review, the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi (HAAD) code for Iluvien was published on October 11, 2016. The HAAD code allows for the reimbursement of Iluvien by HAAD. In addition, some large Middle East institutions are finalizing compassionate use programs in order to include Iluvien in their available treatment options.
The first DME patient in the region was treated with Iluvien under the named patient sales program, an early access program whereby health authorities allow selected institutions to provide globally approved innovative medications to their patients while the products are still in the process of approval and full registration.
"Diabetes and its complications have been listed among the top priorities of health authorities across the region," Dream Samir, MEAgate's chief executive officer, said in a company news release. "In several Middle-East countries, prominent ophthalmologists have confirmed that Iluvien will address an unmet need for a significant number of their patients with diabetes."
"We are pleased to begin providing Iluvien to this population," said Dan Myers, Alimera's chief executive officer. "Given the high incidence of diabetes in the region, we believe a continuous microdosing delivery system will be welcomed by both retinal specialists and their patients with diabetic macular edema."