The global pharmaceutical giant Novartis (NYSE: NVS) bought the assets to Xiidra 5% solution from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company (NYSE: TAK). The announcement gives us the largest pharmaceutical deal of the year so far, with Novartis paying $3.4 billion upfront and $1.9 billion in potential milestones for the drug. In 2018, Xiidra generated revenue of $400 million.
Xiidra is the first and only prescription treatment approved for both signs and symptoms of dry eye by inhibiting inflammation caused by the disease. This acquisition fits strategically within Novartis’ ophthalmic pharmaceutical portfolio, laying the groundwork for front-of-the-eye pipeline products currently in development.
This is the second deal for Novartis this quarter. In April, it bought the biotech company IFM Tre from IFM Therapeutics LLC for $310 million. The acquisition gives Novartis full rights to IFM Tre’s portfolio of NLRP3 inhibitors and bolsters Novartis’ pipeline of anti-inflammatory medicines.
Back in December 2018, Alcorn, a division of Novartis that researches and develops products for eye conditions, acquired Tear Film Innovations, Inc., an early-stage company developing a group of products for the treatment of evaporative dry eye. The acquisition expands Alcon’s portfolio of ocular health products, including several leading treatments for the temporary relief of dry eye symptoms. Most notably, Alcon gained Tear Film’s iLux product, an innovative therapeutic device used to treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, a leading cause of dry eye, and will expand it to additional countries in 2019.