Sun Pharmaceutical Industries announced that it is acquiring Ocular Technologies, Sarl (OTS), a portfolio company of private equity firm Auven Therapeutics. OTS owns exclusive worldwide rights to Seciera (cyclosporine A, 0.09% ophthalmic solution). Sun Pharma will pay Auven $40 million upfront, plus contingent development milestones and sales milestones as well as tiered royalty on sales of Seciera as consideration for this acquisition.
Seciera is currently in a phase 3 confirmatory clinical trial for the treatment of dry eye disease, an inflammatory ocular disease affecting approximately 16 million people in the United States alone. Seciera is a patented, novel, proprietary formulation of cyclosporine A 0.09%. It is a clear, preservative-free, aqueous solution. In a completed phase 2b/3 clinical trial in 455 patients, Seciera demonstrated a rapid onset of action and was well tolerated by the study population. Based on the published data in literature, the efficacy and safety endpoints in these trials compared favorably to other formulations of cyclosporine A.
“This potential acquisition signifies continued momentum in enhancing our global branded specialty portfolio,” Dilip Shanghvi, Managing Director, Sun Pharma, said in a company news release. “Coupled with our existing pipeline consisting of BromSite, DexaSite, and Xelpros, this initiative will enable Sun Pharma to significantly expand its ophthalmic presence and reach millions of patients globally.”
“This is an important milestone for us,” said Jerry St. Peter, Vice President and Head, Sun Ophthalmics. “As a specialty business dedicated solely to the needs of eye care practitioners and their patients, Sun Ophthalmics is excited at the potential to expand our existing portfolio. We hope to bring Seciera to ophthalmologists and optometrists globally and participate in a dynamic market that is estimated to reach almost $5 billion worldwide by 2020.”
“The arrival of a potential novel cyclosporine formulation for patients suffering from dry eye disease is very exciting,” Kendall E. Donaldson, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Codirector Cornea Fellowship, Bascom Plamer Eye Institute, said in the news release. “Dry Eye Disease is a complex, chronic condition that affects patient quality of life, often significantly. As practitioners, we require as many tools in our armamentarium as possible to afford patients the best chance at effective, lasting treatment and improved quality of life. The positive clinical trial results for Seciera, indicates great potential for patients and practitioners alike.”
The transaction is subject to approval of the US Federal Trade Commission as required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and other closing conditions, and is expected to be completed by end of 2016.