Eye product company Alcon has entered into a five-year collaborative research agreement with AstraZeneca to develop treatments for sight-threatening illnesses.

The companies have targeted the development of drugs to treat conditions such as glaucoma, wet and dry age-related macular degeneration and other retinal diseases, as well as ocular allergy, dry eye and other inflammatory eye conditions.

Under the terms of the agreement, Alcon will receive access to thousands of AstraZeneca compounds in a variety of drug classes. AstraZeneca will hand over development and regulatory documentation associated with each compound.

Licence agreements for any compound that moves into clinical development will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis to determine regulatory milestone payments and royalties on product sales.

Alcon senior vice-president of research and development and chief medical officer Sabri Markabi said that the agreement would enhance access to sources of technologies and compounds through partnership with leading biomedical research organisations.

“The combination of AstraZeneca’s broad capabilities in discovery and Alcon’s scientific expertise in eye disease provides potential for therapies that fulfil unmet medical needs in ophthalmology,” Markabi said.