Agreement would include global rights for investigational treatment, risuteganib, expected to help reverse vision loss due to dry AMD
Bausch Health has entered into an agreement to acquire an option to purchase all ophthalmology assets of Allegro Ophthalmics, LLC, including global rights for Allegro's lead investigational compound in retina, risuteganib (Luminate). The compound is believed to simultaneously act on the angiogenic, inflammatory, and mitochondrial metabolic pathways implicated in diseases such as intermediate dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a prepared statement.
“As part of the ongoing transformation of Bausch Health, we continue to seek strategic opportunities to build-up our pipeline in core businesses, including Bausch + Lomb, our global eye health business,” said Joseph C. Papa, chairman and chief executive officer of Bausch Health. “The addition of the ophthalmic assets of Allegro would significantly enhance our comprehensive portfolio of products for AMD."
If approved, risuteganib may be the first treatment indicated to help reverse vision loss due to dry AMD and would address a significant unmet medical need affecting millions of people globally, according to Papa. The investigational integrin-regulating therapy is believed to reduce mitochondrial dysfunction involved in intermediate dry AMD. By targeting multiple pathways, risuteganib may help reduce the cellular burden of oxidative stress and restore retinal homeostasis.
Two concurrent phase 3 studies evaluating the use of intravitreal risuteganib to treat intermediate dry AMD are expected to begin within the next 12 months, according to the company. Allegro’s other ophthalmology assets include ALG-1007, a topical integrin regulator under investigation for the treatment of dry eye disease, which is currently in phase 2 development outside the United States.
"As we prepare for our phase 3 clinical program, we look forward to working closely with Bausch Health on the united goal of one day being able to offer a treatment option to the millions of people who are currently losing their vision to dry AMD," said Vicken Karageozian, MD, president and chief executive officer, Allegro.
The option payment totaling $50 million would be made in two tranches—with the first payment of $10 million upon signing. Allegro noted it intends to raise additional funding, following which, Bausch Health will make a second payment of $40 million, which is expected to be made in 2021. If Bausch Health then elects to exercise the option, additional payments will be payable, according to the statement.