Novartis To Sell Eye-Care Drug Xiidra in $2.5-Bn Deal   

Novartis has agreed to sell Xiidra (lifitegrast) a drug for treating dry-eye disease, and other ophthalmology assets to Bausch + Lomb, a subsidiary of Bausch Health, in a deal worth up to $2.5 billion ($1.75 billion upfront and $750 million in milestone payments).  

Novartis had acquired Xiidra from Takeda in 2019 in a deal worth up $5.5 billion ($3.4 billion upfront and an additional $1.9 billion in potential milestone receipts, including certain sales-based milestones). 

In addition to Xiidra, Novartis’ pending sale includes: (1) an investigational medicine, SAF312 (libvatrep), for treating chronic ocular surface pain; (2) the rights to use the AcuStream delivery device in dry-eye indications; and (3) OJL332, a second generation TRPV1 antagonist in preclinical development. 

Under the agreement, Novartis will receive milestone payments up to $750 million linked to anticipated future sales for Xiidra, SAF312 (libvatrep), and OJL332. Novartis will continue to supply Xiidra to Bausch + Lomb via transitional agreements for a limited period post closing of the acquisition. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2023, subject to customary conditions. 

In divesting these so-called “front-eye” assets, Novartis says it will continue its R&D efforts in addressing retinal diseases, through platforms such as gene therapies and optogenetics. 

Source: Bausch Health and  Novartis