LAVAL, Quebec—Bausch + Lomb, a unit of Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE/TSX: BHC) announced new data from the National Eye Institute (NEI) 10-Year Follow-on Study Results of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), which reaffirms the clinical outcomes of the AREDS2 study. Based on this data, the NEI continues to recommend a specific nutrient formula to help reduce the risk of progression in patients with moderate to advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), according to the B+L announcement this week.

That formula is currently found in Bausch + Lomb PreserVision AREDS 2 Formula eye vitamins, which was provided to participants in the last five years of the follow-on study. The study results were presented May 7 at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting.

"These new, longer-term results from the NEI build on the findings of previous AREDS studies, which show that a precise mix and dosage of specific vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help reduce the risk of progression in people who have moderate to advanced AMD," Rishi P. Singh, MD, professor of ophthalmology, Lerner College of Medicine, and staff surgeon at the Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic, said in the announcement.

"These findings further clarify the importance of an AREDS2 supplement as part of a patient's plan, and the need for eyecare professionals to provide a specific recommendation for this formulation in appropriate patients."

The NEI's 10-Year Follow-on Study of AREDS2 analysis included 3,887 people (6,360 study eyes) with intermediate to advanced AMD over a 10-year period. The study further validated the original findings about the AREDS2 formulation with 80mg of zinc and provided support for the continued benefit of lutein and zeaxanthin, which were shown to have an incremental beneficial effect as compared to beta-carotene, the announcement noted.

"For more than 20 years, Bausch + Lomb has been collaborating with researchers at the NEI to help eyecare professionals and the 11 million Americans who are impacted by moderate to advanced AMD," said Joe Gordon, U.S. president, Bausch + Lomb. "Since 2001, we have offered a portfolio of eye vitamins based on the most current, available science, and this data further supports the current formulation in our PreserVision AREDS 2 Formula eye vitamins."

For more information on PreserVision AREDS 2 formula eye vitamins, visit www.preservision.com.

The AREDS and AREDS2 studies are landmark clinical studies conducted over 20 years by the NEI. The AREDS study in 2001 demonstrated that taking a specific combination of antioxidants and zinc could help reduce the risk of progression of AMD in those with moderate to advanced AMD.

In 2012, the NEI completed the AREDS2 study, which tested several changes to the formulation, such as adding omega-3 fatty acids, substituting lutein and zeaxanthin for beta-carotene, and/or reducing zinc. The current AREDS2 nutrient formula recommended by the NEI is the result of this study. The NEI 10-Year Follow-on Study results evaluated the long-term results of participants who were involved in the AREDS2 study.