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Aug 1, 2014

Esperante Buys Opthalmology Drug Developer Altacor

  • Esperante, a Netherlands-based life sciences investment company, said today it completed its acquisition of Altacor for an undisclosed price, going from minority investor to new owner of the U.K.-based ophthalmology drug developer.

    Esperante said that Altacor will continue to operate as a specialty ophthalmology company, and that it expects to grow Altacor’s revenues and market presence “significantly” by: 

    • Expanding its commercial business, specifically growing the market share, by extending the geographic sales reach of its existing portfolio – which includes Clinitas® products for dry eye, the blepharitis range (Blephakit®) and ocular supplements (Eyebar®);
    • Expanding its portfolio by acquiring and in-licensing new ophthalmic therapies and surgical devices;
    • Continue to advance existing pipeline therapeutics, focused on fast-to-market, repositioned and orphan products;
    • Leveraging opportunities for growth within Esperante and its sister companies.

    “We are extremely pleased that Altacor has been acquired by Esperante and that it plans to pursue and expand the company's existing strategy within a holding group that has a successful track record in building European businesses,” Altacor CEO Francesca Crawford, Ph.D., said in a statement. “I am also delighted that our staff will all remain in position and will continue to drive product sales and pipeline development in the company's chosen markets."

    Altacor has eight products marketed in the U.K. and Ireland—Clinitas®, Clinitas range, Blepharitis range and ocular supplements—sold through its own sales and marketing organization and network.

    Clinitas and Clinitas GEL are prescription products for the treatment of moderate dry eye. The Clinitas range, comprising Clinitas Hydrate® and Clinitas Soothe® are also for treating the major causes of dry eye, and are sold to the retail market via pharmacists and opticians. The Blepharitis range loosens and removes Meibomian secretions, which underlie blepharitis.

    Altacor’s pipeline includes two projects for glaucoma—one with a patented mechanism of action, and the second for steroid-induced glaucoma—as well as ALT 401, an improved formulation of an existing molecule acting through a new mechanism (modulation of TGF beta release) designed to prevent scarring following trabeculectomy.

    Another pipeline product, ALT 005, is an opthadine surgical antiseptic designed to disinfect the eye and ocular region in preparation for any surgical procedure—and entails reformulation of a well-characterized antiseptic for ophthalmic use.

    Esperante is the investment arm of the C&P Group, a global, privately owned group with a portfolio of 18 life-sci businesses focused on therapeutics, in vitro diagnostics and selected medical devices. Portfolio companies include Nordic Pharma, a fully-integrated, pan-European pharmaceutical and services company; PolyPeptide Laboratories, a global peptide bulk drug actives producer; and Euro-Diagnostica, a European-based immunology in vitro diagnostics business.


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