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Novartis to divest ophthalmology assets to Bausch + Lomb

Novartis has signed an agreement to divest its ‘front of eye’ ophthalmology assets to Bausch + Lomb, in a transaction valued up to $2.5 billion.

The deal, which involves an upfront payment of $1.75 billion, includes Xiidra, the first approved prescription treatment for the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. Also included is investigational medicine SAF312, in development as a first-in-class therapy for chronic ocular surface pain, as well as the rights for use of the AcuStream delivery device in dry eye indications and OJL332, a second-generation TRPV1 antagonist in pre-clinical development.

Per its focused strategy unveiled last year, Novartis is looking to drive R&D productivity by prioritizing high-value medicines across five core therapeutic areas — cardiovascular, immunology, neuroscience, solid tumors and hematology.

On the ophthalmology front, Novartis says it will continue its R&D efforts in addressing retinal diseases via platforms including gene therapy and optogenetics.