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A deal with 20/20 vision
MADISON, N.J.—Bausch + Lomb and ophthalmic pharmaceutical company ISTA Pharmaceuticals recently announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which Bausch + Lomb will acquire ISTA for $9.10 per share in cash, for an aggregate total of approximately $500 million. The transaction has been unanimously approved by both companies' boards of directors.
"Along with the rest of our board of directors, I am pleased that the tremendous assets ISTA's people have created with our products and pipeline have been recognized by Bausch + Lomb, a global leader in eye health, and that we were able to finalize a transaction after a thorough process that delivers shareholders an important return on their investment in ISTA," Dr. Vicente Anido Jr., president and CEO of ISTA, said in a press release. "Both companies have a significant commitment to serving the needs of the healthcare industry, eye care professionals and patients alike. ISTA's portfolio of prescription eye and allergy products is a natural extension of Bausch + Lomb's pharmaceutical business focus. Together, we create an impressive platform to commercialize new eye care and allergy products already under development."
The transaction gives Bausch + Lomb a portfolio of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory, allergy, glaucoma and spreading agents to add to its existing ophthalmic offerings. ISTA also has several drug candidates in development within its pipeline indicated for a variety of ocular conditions. PROLENSA, low-concentration bromfenac, is indicated for ocular inflammation and pain post-cataract surgery, and ISTA was issued a patent for the drug at the end of March. The pipeline also includes T-PRED, in early Phase III development for ocular inflammation/infection, and Bromfenac Adjunct, which is approaching Phase II development for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration.
ISTA's drug candidates complement those within Bausch + Lomb's own pipeline, which includes a new class of ocular anti-inflammatory agents as well as a new method of relieving intraocular pressure in patients suffering from open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
"Through the combination, we will gain access to ISTA's industry-proven non-steroidal as well as allergy, glaucoma and spreading agents, rounding out the company's robust portfolio of branded, generic and OTC products," says Dan Wechsler, corporate vice president and president of Bausch + Lomb Global Pharmaceuticals. "Furthermore, this acquisition nearly doubles our late-stage research and development pipeline, and ISTA's product development and regulatory expertise will further strengthen our overall portfolio.
"ISTA is an excellent strategic fit with Bausch + Lomb," he adds. "ISTA's strong customer relationships and commercial expertise will complement Bausch + Lomb's patient-centered approach to service and innovation. Bausch + Lomb and ISTA have a shared commitment to advancing eye health and a strong, overlapping customer base in the U.S."
Bausch + Lomb has been "paying close attention to ISTA over the years," Wechsler notes, given the company's success and the fact that Bausch + Lomb has been manufacturing almost all of ISTA's U.S. products. The deal, he adds, is expected to add more than $150 million in topline annualized sales once it closes.
"Our acquisition of ISTA represents a significant milestone for Bausch + Lomb Pharmaceuticals and for our company overall, and will ultimately help us achieve our goal of becoming the best global eye health company," says Wechsler. "The combined portfolio creates a powerful offering for our customers, and we get access to a pipeline that complements our internal D&R initiatives."
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, and both companies will operate independently until the acquisition is completed. Bausch + Lomb expects it to be accretive to its EBITDA the first year after closing.