ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Bausch + Lomb, the global eye health company, has acquired the assets and U.S. rights for Zirgan® (ganciclovir ophthalmic gel 0.15%) from Sirion Therapeutics, Inc. In 2007, Sirion Therapeutics acquired a license for the Zirgan product technology and trademark from Laboratoires Théa, headquartered in France, for the U.S. market.
was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2009 as a
topical anti-viral for the treatment of acute herpetic keratitis
"We're intensely focused on understanding and serving the needs of our
customers and their patients," said Brent L. Saunders, chief executive
officer, Bausch + Lomb. "Our acquisition of Zirgan
is an important step in further expanding our innovative product portfolio, which spans the ophthalmic spectrum."
Herpetic keratitis, caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), is a
significant cause of corneal blindness and a leading indication for
corneal transplants. Approximately 50,000 new and recurrent cases are
treated in the United States each year. After the initial outbreak, HSV
becomes a latent infection in the trigeminal ganglion and possibly the
cornea, with repeated recurrences that frequently lead to corneal
scarring and ocular inflammation, increasing the risk of blindness.
Ganciclovir gel has been the standard-of-care therapy in Europe for more than a decade, developed and sold worldwide under the Virgan
® trademark by Laboratoires Théa. Unlike older anti-viral pharmaceuticals which affect both healthy and infected cells, Zirgan
selectively targets the replication of HSV DNA. It has a low corneal
toxicity profile to provide patients with comfort and relief.
Sirion introduced Zirgan
to the U.S. market earlier this year,
representing the first innovation in ocular anti-viral therapy in the
U.S. in more than 30 years.
“Our acquisition of Zirgan
reflects our strategy to bring
innovative products to the ophthalmic community,” said Philip Gioia,
head of North America Pharmaceuticals, Bausch + Lomb. “With its
tolerability, convenience, and targeted anti-viral effect, we believe Zirgan
will experience rapid adoption by U.S. physicians for the benefit of their patients.”
The FDA has designated Zirgan
as an orphan drug, conveying
special status for rare diseases or conditions that affect fewer than
200,000 patients in the U.S. The recommended dosing for Zirgan
is one drop five times per day until the ulcer heals, and then one drop three times per day for seven days.
is available by prescription through U.S. pharmacies, with more
expected to carry the product in the coming months following its
acquisition by Bausch + Lomb. It is also stocked with all major U.S.
J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc. is acting as financial advisor and
Proskauer Rose LLP is acting as legal advisor to Sirion Therapeutics
with regard to the transaction. Nixon Peabody is acting as legal advisor
to Bausch + Lomb. Financial terms of the acquisition were not
About Bausch + Lomb
Bausch + Lomb is dedicated to bringing visionary ideas to eye health.
Its core businesses include contact lenses and lens care products,
ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments, and ophthalmic
pharmaceuticals. The Bausch + Lomb name is one of the best-known and
most respected healthcare brands in the world. Founded in 1853, the
company is headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., and employs more than
10,000 people worldwide. Its products are available in more than 100
countries. More information is available at www.bausch.com.
About Sirion Therapeutics, Inc.
Sirion Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company
located in Tampa, Florida.
About Laboratoires Théa
Laboratoires Théa was founded in 1994 and is managed by Henri and
Jean-Frederic Chibret. Laboratoires Théa is the leading independent
ophthalmic group in Europe and is committed to the development and
marketing of innovative ophthalmic drugs, medical devices and
nutraceuticals. For more information, please visit www.laboratoires-thea.com.
Zirgan is a trademark of Laboratoires Théa.
Click here to view the Zirgan package insert(196.1 KB, PDF).