Bausch + Lomb to Acquire Novartis Eye-Care Products for $1.75 Billion

In an exciting move for the eye-care market, Bausch + Lomb has announced its plans to acquire several eye-care products from Novartis for a whopping $1.75 billion. This news has sent the company’s shares soaring by over 8% in early trading.

The deal includes the acquisition of Novartis’ popular anti-inflammation eye drop, Xiidra, as well as an experimental drug called libvatrep for chronic ocular surface pain. Additionally, Bausch + Lomb will gain the rights to use Novartis’ AcuStream dry-eye drug delivery device.

This acquisition marks the first major deal by CEO Brent Saunders since his return to the company in March. As part of the agreement, Bausch + Lomb has also agreed to potential milestone payments of up to $750 million to Novartis.

The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of this year and is projected to significantly boost Bausch + Lomb’s earnings. This is great news for the company and its investors.

In related news, Bausch + Lomb’s Miebo was recently approved for the treatment of dry-eye condition, which affects a staggering 739 million people worldwide, including approximately 38 million in the United States.

Novartis has also assured that it will continue to supply Xiidra on behalf of Bausch + Lomb for a “limited period” after the deal closes. This is to ensure a consistent supply of the medication to patients.

Last year, Novartis announced its plans to focus more on cardio-renal care, immunology, neuroscience, oncology, and hematology while taking an “opportunistic” approach to eye care and respiratory diseases. This acquisition aligns with their strategic goals.

It’s worth noting that Novartis had acquired Xiidra from Takeda Pharmaceutical in 2019 for a significant upfront payment of $3.4 billion. Sales of Xiidra reached $487 million in 2022, primarily in the U.S. market, representing a 4% increase from the previous year. However, the treatment faces competition from AbbVie’s Restasis and cheaper generic versions.

Novartis’ largest ophthalmology product, Lucentis, used for treating macular degeneration, has experienced declining sales due to the availability of more affordable alternatives.

This acquisition marks an exciting new chapter for Bausch + Lomb and highlights their commitment to expanding their presence in the eye-care market. With the addition of Novartis’ products, they are poised for even greater success.

Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru and Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Vinay Dwivedi

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