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    Novartis Alcon changes build better platform for ophthalmology


    R&D investment

    “In 2015, we invested $9.8 billion in research and development,” Dr. Liew said. “These efforts resulted in nine major submissions and 19 new product approvals in major markets around the world.

    Dr. Liew outlined that Novartis Alcon’s future treatments in glaucoma will focus around developing therapies that bring value to patients, medicines that ease the burden of treatment and compliance, and provide increased efficacy.

    There is also a concerted effort to boost innovation in the fixed-dose combination portfolio. Dr. Liew said there will be an acceleration in pipeline development and an increase in projects with external partners.

    Novartis also will continue its development through acquisition. The recent boost in the ophthalmology pipeline came in late 2016 with the addition of Encore Vision, Fort Worth, TX. Encore is developing a first-in-class, disease-modifying topical treatment for presbyopia.

    Encore researchers found that excessive disulphide bond formation may lead to a loss of lens flexibility. Oxidation can induce disulphide bonds between crystalline proteins, resulting in lens stiffening and compromised accommodation.

    Phase I and phase II clinical trials of a solution containing lipoic acid choline ester drops twice daily found a gain of at least 10 letters from Day 1 to Day 91 in distance-corrected near visual acuity in the non-dominant eye as well as in bilateral vision on more than half of subjects.

    “Presbyopia is a new area for us,” Dr. Liew said. “If successful, this has the potential to touch hundreds of millions of lives. The Encore acquisition underlines our strong commitment to ophthalmology and to innovation in new therapeutic areas.”

    Patients at core

    Fred Gebhart
    The author is a correspondent for Urology Times, a sister publication.

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