Irish pharmaceutical firm Allergan has signed an agreement to acquire US-based medical device firm AqueSys for around $300m.


The deal will also include regulatory approval and commercialization milestone payments pertained to AqueSys’ lead development programs, including XEN45.

Allergan president and CEO Brent Saunders said: "The acquisition of AqueSys and its XEN45 program builds on Allergan’s deep and long-standing commitment to innovation in eye care.

"The acquisition of the XEN45 device demonstrates our commitment to alternative next-generation glaucoma treatments which are appealing to both patients and physicians and extend beyond conventional medication eyedrops."

AqueSys produces XEN45, a soft shunt that is implanted in the subconjunctival space in the eye through a minimally invasive procedure with a single use and pre-loaded proprietary injector.

The XEN45 technology is said to facilitate aqueous fluid flow to lower intra-ocular pressure (IOP), while protecting against the potential for hypotony, which is associated with current subconjunctival procedures.

In the European Union, the firm obtained CE mark approval for XEN45 to reduce intraocular pressure in patients with primary open angle glaucoma where previous medical treatments have failed.

The approval enables treatment in conjunction with a cataract procedure or as a standalone procedure. In addition, the soft shunt received approval in Turkey, Canada and Switzerland.

In the US, XEN45 is in late-stage development, where the final investigational device exemption (IDE) clinical trial fully enrolled patients in the second quarter this year.

The final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to receive by late 2016 or early 2017.

Subject to pending approvals, the deal is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.

Image: AqueSys’ XEN45 injector. Photo: courtesy of Allergan plc.