MELBOURNE, Australia and ATLANTA, April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Australian and New Zealand patients suffering from vision impairment due to a type of diabetes-induced eye disease will have access to a new treatment, following a license deal between Australian biopharmaceutical company Specialised Therapeutics Australia (STA) and Alimera Sciences (NASDAQ: ALIM). The exclusive agreement enables STA to distribute ILUVIEN ® (190 micrograms fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant in applicator) - a sustained release intravitreal implant used to treat vision impairment associated with chronic diabetic macular oedema (DMO), when the condition is deemed insufficiently responsive to current available therapies. Under the terms of the license arrangement, STA will be responsible for all regulatory and commercial activities for ILUVIEN in Australia and New Zealand. The agreement includes a milestone payment to Alimera Sciences on achievement of a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing, as well as an increasing royalty payment based upon a specific sales target. Australian Ophthalmologist Professor Mark Gillies from the Department of Clinical Ophthalmology and Eye Health, University of Sydney, said ILUVIEN was a welcome treatment option for patients with DMO who no longer respond to conventional therapies and who face progression to loss of vision. "ILUVIEN provides a new treatment option for those patients for whom other current therapies are unsuitable," Professor Gillies commented. "All people with diabetes, even those with well-managed conditions, face an increased risk of loss of vision from retinal disease." "While there may be some side effects of ILUVIEN, these are treatable and a large clinical trial has demonstrated that many patients with advanced retinal disease will experience sustained improvement in their vision after receiving the implant in their eye which may last for up to three years. Some drugs that are currently injected into the eye may only last four weeks."