Novartis has agreed to acquire dry eye drug Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5% from Takeda for $3.4bn.
As per terms of the agreement, Takeda is also eligible to secure up to an additional $1.9bn in potential milestone payments from Novartis along with $3.4bn upfront payment in cash.
Xiidra is said to be the first and only prescription treatment secured approval for the treatment of both signs and symptoms of dry eye by inhibiting inflammation caused by the disease.
Dry eye disease, which is a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface, is estimated to affect over 34 million people in the US.
Xiidra secured approval to treat signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in various markets such as the US, Canada and Australia, and is also under regulatory assessment in a number of additional markets.
According to Novartis, around 1,000 patients have been treated with Xiidra in four vehicle-controlled 12-week trials, and 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.
Around 400 employees associated with Xiidra product and based in the US and Canada will join Novartis, under the deal.
Subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals CEO Paul Hudson said: “Xiidra, with its unique dual benefits, is an example of the type of innovative advances we invest in for the benefit of patients.
“We look forward to leveraging our well-established commercial infrastructure to bring this medicine to more patients.”
In April this year, Novartis has also agreed to acquire IFM Tre from US biopharma company IFM Therapeutics in a deal worth up to $1.575bn.
IFM Tre, which was launched in July 2018, is currently developing a suite of NLRP3 antagonists for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Through the acquisition, Novartis will get complete rights to IFM Tre’s NLPR3 antagonist portfolio, made up of one clinical and two pre-clinical programs.