Alcon teams with AstraZeneca, NovaBay

September 1, 2009

Alcon has entered into a 5-year collaborative research agreement with AstraZeneca for exclusive ophthalmic discovery and potential development rights to AstraZeneca's compound library.

Key Points

Huenenberg, Switzerland-Alcon has entered into a 5-year collaborative research agreement with AstraZeneca for exclusive ophthalmic discovery and potential development rights to AstraZeneca's compound library. The goal of the agreement is to accelerate development of breakthrough therapies for eye disease.

The two companies are targeting drug development to treat sight-threatening conditions including glaucoma, wet and dry age-related macular degeneration and other retinal disease, as well as ocular allergy, dry eye, and other inflammatory eye conditions.

"The combination of AstraZeneca's broad capabilities in discovery and Alcon's scientific expertise in eye disease provides potential for therapies that fulfill unmet medical needs in ophthalmology," said Sabri Markabi, MD, Alcon's senior vice president of research and development and chief medical officer.

In other company news, Alcon and its partner, NovaBay Pharmaceuticals Inc., announced that Alcon has begun treating patients in a phase 2 clinical trial of NovaBay's lead antimicrobial compound (Aganocide)-N,N-dichloro-2,2-dimethyltaurine (NVC-422)-for viral conjunctivitis.

The phase 2 multi-center, randomized, placebo-controlled trial is designed to determine the safety and efficacy of NVC-422 in people with viral conjunctivitis. The study calls for enrolling approximately 250 patients at more than 30 medical centers, mostly in the United States.

"This is the first step in the ophthalmic clinical development program for NVC-422, which has the immediate goal of developing the first effective product to address viral conjunctivitis, for which there are limited treatment options," said Ron Najafi, PhD, chairman and chief executive officer of NovaBay.

NovaBay has a licensing and research collaboration agreement with Alcon for use of its antimicrobial compounds in the eye, ear, and sinus, and in contact lens solutions.

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