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21 May 2014

Novartis Announces Exclusive Agreement to Extend Leadership in Ophthalmology, Leveraging Novel Anti-PGDF Therapy Fovista

Novartis has signed a licensing and commercialization agreement with Ophthotech Corporation for the exclusive rights to market Fovista (anti-PDGF aptamer) outside the US. Under the financial terms of the agreement, Ophthotech will receive an immediate payment of an upfront fee of USD 200 million plus potential future recruitment and other milestone payments. In addition, Ophthotech is eligible to receive royalties on ex-US Fovista sales. Fovista is being studied in combination with anti-VEGF agents for patients suffering from wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). Novartis will also develop a co-formulation of Fovista with a Novartis proprietary anti-VEGF treatment. Ophthotech will hold the marketing rights to Fovista in the US.


"Novartis is committed to addressing key unmet needs in medical retina. Fovista in combination with currently available anti-VEGF treatments could further improve outcomes of patients suffering from avoidable vision loss," said David Epstein, Division Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. "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."


Fovista offers a new mechanism of action to address unmet need to further improve visual acuity and potentially slow disease progression. In Phase II clinical studies, combination therapy of Fovista and Lucentis (ranibizumab) significantly improved baseline visual acuity in wet AMD patients. No new safety signals were observed with Fovista/Lucentis adjunctive therapy as compared to Lucentis monotherapy.


Novartis expects to develop Fovista and the co-formulation in its proprietary, innovative pre-filled syringe as part of this agreement.

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