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Alcon Indulges in its Pharma Side for New M&A

Image courtesy of Kristoffer Tripplaar / Alamy Stock Photo IMG_2022-8-23-154454.jpg
The Geneva, Switzerland-based company said it was acquiring Aerie Pharmaceuticals for $770 million.

Alcon is involved in a deal that will further strengthen its ophthalmic pharmaceutical portfolio. The Geneva, Switzerland-based company is acquiring Aerie Pharmaceuticals for $770 million.

This would add the commercial products Rocklatan  (netarsudil and latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005% and Rhopressa (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02%, as well as AR-15512, a Phase 3 product candidate for dry eye disease, and a pipeline of several clinical and preclinical ophthalmic pharmaceutical product candidates. 

“Alcon is passionate about innovative treatments in eye care, especially in core disorders such as glaucoma and dry eye, which have significant patient impact,” said David Endicott, CEO of Alcon. “We have a 75-year history focused specifically on the eye and bring established expertise in development and commercial execution. Aerie is a natural fit with on-market and pipeline products, and R&D capabilities that offer the infrastructure needed to expand our ophthalmic pharmaceutical presence. As we continue to broaden our portfolio across glaucoma, retina, and ocular surface disease, we are excited to help even more patients see brilliantly.”

Aerie is expected to be accretive to Alcon’s core diluted earnings per share in 2024.

The deal is several months removed from Alcon announcing it would take another shot at the minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) market by acquiring Ivantis for $475 million. Alcon first gained a foothold in the MIGS market in 2016 when it was a part of Novartis.

At the time, Novartis acquired Transcend Medical, the maker of the Cypass Micro-Stent. But in 2018, Alcon had to voluntarily pull all versions of the Cypass Micro-Stent from the market because data showed that at five years, patients implanted with the device experienced statistically significant endothelial cell loss compared to patients who underwent cataract surgery alone.


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