Novartis to Acquire Encore Vision, Developer of Eye Drop for Treating Presbyopia

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BASEL, Switzerland—Novartis announced yesterday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Encore Vision, a privately-held company in Fort Worth, Texas, that has developed eye drops for treating presbyopia.

The financial details of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.

"There is a large need for innovative, effective and safe treatment options for people with presbyopia, and there is currently no disease-modifying treatment available at all," said Vasant Narasimhan, global head, drug development and chief medical officer, Novartis. "Novartis confirms its leadership in ophthalmology by entering another new therapy area. The addition of this topical disease modifying treatment to our portfolio, if successful, will provide affected people with a new option to improve and maintain their vision and quality of life."

Encore Vision's lead investigational product, EV06, is a first-in-class topical treatment for presbyopia. According to Encore Vision’s website, EV06 “breaks down excessive biochemical bonds within the crystalline lens that form with age and restores lens softness, thereby allowing the lens to change shape and regain focusing/accommodative ability when focusing on near objects.” In-vivo proof of concept in animals has been achieved, the company said.

Encore Vision is targeting the growing estimated approximately 1.8 billion presbyope market worldwide, of which approximately 100 million are in the U.S. Multiple U.S. patents have been issued and multiple U.S. and foreign patent applications are pending. Encore Vision's eye drops have successfully passed its FDA Phase 2 Clinical with no adverse reactions being reported, while improving near point focus, VMail reported in May, 2016. “We have reversed presbyopia, quite clearly,” Encore Vision’s president and CEO Bill Burns told VMail.

Founded in 2007, Encore Vision is a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of The Egg Factory, a Roanoke, Va. company that develops and incubates ophthalmic and optic technologies.