Bausch Health has entered into an agreement to acquire an option to purchase all ophthalmology assets of Allegro Ophthalmics, including global rights for risuteganib (Luminate)1, Allegro’s lead investigational compound in retina.
Full financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“As part of the ongoing transformation of Bausch Health, we continue to seek strategic opportunities to build-up our pipeline in core businesses, including Bausch + Lomb, our global eye health business. The addition of the ophthalmic assets of Allegro would significantly enhance our comprehensive portfolio of products for AMD,” Joseph C. Papa, chairman and CEO of Bausch Health, said in a company news release. “If approved, risuteganib may be the first treatment indicated to help reverse vision loss due to dry AMD and would address a significant unmet medical need affecting millions of people globally.”
“Allegro is excited to partner with Bausch Health, an established global player in ophthalmology that values the potential of risuteganib and our integrin-regulating platform as much as we do,” Vicken Karageozian, MD, president and CEO, Allegro, said in the news release. “As we prepare for our phase 3 clinical program, we look forward to working closely with Bausch Health on the united goal of one day being able to offer a treatment option to the millions of people who are currently losing their vision to dry AMD.”
Risuteganib is an investigational integrin-regulating therapy that is believed to reduce mitochondrial dysfunction involved in intermediate dry AMD. By targeting multiple pathways, risuteganib may help reduce the cellular burden of oxidative stress and restore retinal homeostasis.5 Two concurrent phase 3 studies evaluating the use of intravitreal risuteganib to treat intermediate dry AMD are expected to begin within the next 12 months.
Other ophthalmology assets of Allegro include ALG-1007, a topical integrin regulator under investigation for the treatment of dry eye disease. It is currently in phase 2 development outside the United States.
The option payment totaling $50 million would be made in two tranches, with the first payment of $10 million upon signing. Allegro intends to raise additional funding, following which, Bausch Health will make a second payment of $40 million, which is expected to be made in 2021. If Bausch Health then elects to exercise the option, additional payments will be payable.
1 Provisional name. Luminate is a registered trademark of Allegro Ophthalmics, LLC.
2 IRi. Raw Buyer Count Comparison Shows the Percent of Households and Individuals with AMD is on the Rise. AMD Buyer Group Analytics. Demographics. March 2018.
3 Wong et al. “Global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis”. The Lancet. Volume 2, No. 2, e106–e116, February 2014.
4 The Discovery Eye Foundation. Dry AMD. 2014.
5 Kaiser PK. Topline results from a prospective, double-masked, placebo-controlled phase-2b clinical study evaluating ALG-1001 (Luminate) in patients with diabetic macular edema. ARVO, May 2017.