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Alcon and AstraZeneca in eye collaboration

Alcon has entered into a five-year research agreement with AstraZeneca targeting the development of drugs to treat sight-threatening conditions

Under the terms of the agreement Alcon will gain exclusive access to AstraZeneca's extensive range of drug compounds relevant to ophthalmology. The two companies hope the deal will lead to the development of drugs to treat conditions such as wet and dry age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and other retinal diseases and eye conditions. The partnership pairs Alcon's ophthalmic research capabilities with AstraZeneca's vast compound library.

Jan Lundberg, AstraZeneca's executive vice president of global discovery research said: "We are constantly looking for new opportunities to maximise our strong early pipeline and this collaboration is proof of its value beyond the therapy areas for which AstraZeneca is renowned."

As part of the agreement, Alcon will fund all research and development activities. Any compound moving into clinical development has the potential to be licensed individually to include potential milestone and royalty payments. Alcon is also free to pursue any compounds it develops itself, or licences from other companies, prior to the initiation of confirmatory phase III clinical trials.

"I believe this partnership will not only benefit both parties, but will also lead to new therapies that reduce the incidence of blindness around the world," said Kevin Buehler, Alcon's president and chief executive officer.

23rd July 2009

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