The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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New drug news: Alcon / Lantibio and HLA

Once a dry eye drug gets to a certain point in clinicals it's only a matter of time till you hear a big ophthalmic pharma's name connected with it. And considering Alcon's meager dry eye offerings, I'm even less surprised to see that they jumped at the chance to market Lantibio's drug (currently in phase III clinicals) in the US.

Hyaluronic acid drops of various sorts are available as over-the-counter lubricants around the world but not in the US because HLA is not included in the FDA's monograph for ophthalmic demulcents (that little-known and poorly understood way the FDA has of regulating over-the-counter eye lubricants). Probably no one living remembers the last time anyone tried to change that monograph and these days, no one would be motivated to try, because selling drops on a prescription basis is a far more shareholder-friendly idea.

I never actually saw a news release on Alcon's deal with Lantibio and TRB... just saw it buried in their third quarter results announced a few days ago.
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