CIBA VISION OPHTHALMICS/INSITE $ 10 MIL. STRATEGIC ALLIANCE
CIBA VISION OPHTHALMICS/INSITE $ 10 MIL. STRATEGIC ALLIANCE gives the Ciba-Geigy division licenses to market three InSite Vision products in the U.S., including the ophthalmic glucocorticoid MethaSite. The Oct. 9 agreement also provides for codevelopment of additional ophthalmic products employing InSite's DuraSite extended-release ophthalmic drug delivery system. For $ 10 mil., the one-year-old Ciba Vision Ophthalmics unit will receive a 12% equity stake in privately-held InSite' and a seat on the board of directors in addition to licensing rights. Ciba Vision also has the right of first offer to other InSite products under development. InSite expects that its first two products, MethaSite and an OTC artificial tear product, will be on the market in 1992; both are included in the Ciba Vision licensing agreement. MethaSite has been "approvable" at FDA since March 19; InSite is seeking indications for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis and reduction of postoperative eye inflammation. The product incorporates the off-patent drug fluorometholone with the DuraSite delivery system, which allows the drug to remain in the eye for four to eight hours, in contrast to the average five- to 10-minute time span for other eyedrops. The third product licensed to Ciba also is an off-patent drug, pilocarpine, which InSite is developing as a sustained-release antiglaucoma treatment. Phase III trials are underway and the firm hopes to have the product on the market by 1994. Other InSite products under development involve novel compounds that have been in-licensed, the Alameda, Calif.-based firm said. Ciba Vision Ophthalmics was formed in Atlanta in October 1990 and currently markets one product, Voltaren Ophthalmic, the first nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory indicated for treatment of inflammation following cataract surgery. Voltaren Ophthalmic (diclofenac sodium 0.1% solution) was approved on March 29 ("The Pink Sheet" April 8, T&G-1).
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