Swiss drugmaker Novartis has completed the acquisition of dry eye drug Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5% from Takeda for $3.4bn (£2.6bn) upfront in cash.
The sale of Xiidra has also provided an option to Takeda to receive up to an additional $1.9bn (£1.5bn) in potential milestone payments from Novartis.
Takeda intends to use the proceeds from the deal to decrease its debt, in addition to accelerating deleveraging toward its target in the medium term following closing of the Shire acquisition.
Takeda president and CEO Christophe Weber said: “The completion of this transaction marks an important step in executing Takeda’s strategy, which is focused on optimizing our portfolio around the key business areas that are core to our long-term growth and creating the most value for our patients and shareholders.
“We are making solid progress on our commitment to simplify our portfolio and meet our deleveraging targets, while continuing to deliver highly-innovative medicines and transformative care to patients around the world and enhance long-term shareholder value.”
Xiidra is claimed to be the first and only prescription treatment secure approval for both signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, with a mechanism of action that targets inflammation.
The treatment received approval to treat signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in various markets, including the US, Canada and Australia. Xiidra is under regulatory assessment in multiple additional markets.
Around 1,000 patients have been treated with Xiidra in four vehicle-controlled 12-week trials. According to the company, each of the four studies evaluated the effect of Xiidra on both the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease at baseline, week two, six and 12.
An improvement in EDS was observed with Xiidra at two weeks in two of the four studies, while a larger reduction in inferior corneal staining score (ICSS) supporting Xiidra was observed in three of the four studies at week 12.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals president Marie-France Tschudin said: “This deal delivers on our ongoing commitment to reimagine medicine for patients suffering from a variety of eye diseases, while also laying critical groundwork for future, potential front-of-the-eye pipeline products we have in development.”