On 21 September, Bausch Health announced that it had signed an agreement with Allegro to acquire an option to purchase all of the latter’s ophthalmology assets. Not only will this help the former to bolster its pipeline in ophthalmology but it will also help the company’s strategy for long-term growth.

Allegro has two pipeline products in its development funnel. The lead candidate is Risuteganib, an integrin-regulating therapy that regulates mitochondrial dysfunction and consequently helps to reduce the cellular burden of oxidative stress. The therapy is currently being evaluated in dry atrophic macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). The other product, ALG-1007, is a topical integrin regulator that is currently being evaluated in dry eye syndrome (DES).

While acquiring these two assets from Allegro will help Bausch Health to expand its current pipeline for ophthalmology indications, access to these assets will also offer the company a tangible opportunity to tap into the commercial market for these indications, particularly in dry AMD, for which there are currently no approved drugs available. For DES, while the company has a credible presence in over-the-counter eye drops, they have also been active on the licensing front for this indication. An example of this is the company acquiring a license for the development and commercialisation in the US and Canada of NOV03, a pipeline therapy with a novel mechanism of action (MOA) for DES associated with meibomian gland dysfunction. According to GlobalData, the drug sales in the AMD market are expected to grow at an overall compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1% from 2018 to 2028 to reach a value of $18.7bn, while the DES market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.6% during the same period to reach a value of $10.7bn in 2028. A significant driver of both indication-specific markets is an anticipated increase in the global ageing population.

According to GlobalData’s Intelligence Center, the company has prescription therapies in ophthalmic indications such as ocular inflammation, conjunctivitis, keratitis and glaucoma. Therefore, the new product additions are expected to complement Bausch Health’s current ophthalmology product offering and help optimise growth opportunities in this field.

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