LEUVEN, Belgium, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
EU approval of JETREA ® triggers a €45 million milestone payment from Alcon
ThromboGenics NV (Euronext Brussels: THR), an integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic medicines, today announces that the European Commission has approved JETREA ® (ocriplasmin) in the European Union. JETREA ® is approved for the treatment of vitreomacular traction (VMT), including when associated with macular hole of diameter less than or equal to 400 microns. The EU approval triggers a €45 million milestone payment to ThromboGenics from its partner Alcon. The first sale of JETREA ® in the EU by Alcon will trigger a further €45 million milestone payment to ThromboGenics.
Alcon, a division of Novartis, acquired the rights to commercialize JETREA ® outside the United States in March 2012. ThromboGenics retains the right to commercialize the drug in the US. ThromboGenics launched JETREA ® in the US in mid-January 2013 where it is approved for the treatment of patients with symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion (VMA).Dr Patrik De Haes, CEO of ThromboGenics, says: " The European approval of JETREA ® just weeks after the US launch is another major milestone for the Company as we maintain, with our partner Alcon, the momentum of the global roll out of this novel pharmacological treatment for symptomatic VMA. Today ' s approval has triggered a €45 million milestone payment to ThromboGenics. We also anticipate a further €45 million as a result of Alcon ' s first sale of the product in the EU which is expected to take place soon. Patients across Europe will now have access to our innovative drug for an important sight-threatening condition. VMT is a considerable unmet medical need and places a huge burden on patients across Europe who until now have had no treatment option other than watchful waiting or surgery. " JETREA ® contains the active substance ocriplasmin. It is administered through a one-time, single intravitreal injection to treat adults with vitreomacular traction (VMT). VMT, which in the US is referred to as symptomatic VMA, is an age-related progressive, sight-threatening condition. It is caused by the vitreous humour having an abnormally strong attachment to the central part of the retina (the light sensitive membrane at the back of the eye). The macula provides central vision that is needed for everyday tasks such as driving, reading and recognising faces.