Novartis enhances its focus with eyecare deal


Swiss pharma major Novartis is continuing its quest to excel in a few specialist fields by licensing rights to US firm Ophthotech’s lead candidate, Fovista, for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Novartis will pay $200 million (£118 million) up front, with potential regulatory and sales milestone payments adding up to over $1 billion.

Novartis will market the DNA aptamer-based drug outside of the US, and will investigate combination therapies with complementary AMD drugs it has in development. Fovista is a short length of DNA designed to bind to and inactivate platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). It has performed well in clinical trials in combination with antibody drug Lucentis (ranibizumab), which is marketed by Novartis and binds to vascular endothelial growth factor. Blocking the action of these two growth factor proteins stops blood vessels from growing into the retina, which is the main cause of wet AMD.


Related Content

$25bn-plus trade sharpens pharma giants’ focus

25 April 2014 Business

news image

Novartis’ asset swaps with GSK and Eli Lilly are the latest steps in an ongoing streamlining process

Business roundup

28 January 2010 Business

news image

Industry news, February 2010

Most Read

Mystery of coloured water droplets that chase and repel each other solved

19 March 2015 Research

news image

Discovery could herald sprays that hoover up dirt and keep solar panels clean

Simple cooking changes make healthier rice

23 March 2015 Research

news image

Adding oil to water, cooling and reheating rice makes fibre-like resistant starch, reducing calories

Most Commented

Worrying molecule found in bottled water

9 September 2013 Research

news image

Analysis finds a new endocrine disrupting chemical in bottled water

Impatient chemistry

28 February 2014 Last Retort

news image

Is the pressure to publish making chemists cut corners?