Aequus and Medicom Healthcare Sign Exclusive Term Sheet To Jointly Advance Ophthalmology Products Into The USA
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) (“Aequus” or the “Company”), a specialty pharmaceutical company with a focus on developing, advancing and promoting differentiated products, is pleased to announce the signing of a term sheet to co-commercialize a portfolio of products in the USA with Medicom Healthcare, a United Kingdom based pharmaceutical company with a focus on preservative free therapies in ophthalmology.
Under the proposed agreement, Aequus and Medicom will jointly commercialize Medicom’s range of preservative free ophthalmics in the United States of America. The companies will be working together for the first part of 2020, prioritizing programs and developing commercialization plans for the selected programs.
“The structure of the deal is akin to a joint venture, with revenues shared equally and investments and contributions made by each party reconciled through a joint P&L. There are no upfront requirements or commitments on spend and there will be a diligence phase to assess and prioritize which programs to move forward with from Medicom’s portfolio,” said Doug Janzen, CEO and Chairman, Aequus Pharmaceuticals. “This sets us up for success as we plan our entry into the largest therapeutic market in the world.”
Simon Martin, Founder and CEO of Medicom Healthcare and former Head of Novartis Global Ophthalmology Franchise said, “Medicom Healthcare is well poised to be one of the leading suppliers of Preservative Free ophthalmics globally. Our core belief is in “Preservative Free for Everyone”. The science is clear that non-preserved eye medicines are more beneficial than preserved and our rich portfolio will benefit US patients as we commercialize products with Aequus. Our initial commercial strategy will be to work with Insurers, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (“PBM’s”) and Business to Business (“B2B”) relationships to begin generating US revenues in 2020 without building a large infrastructure. We expect our infrastructure will be very light and highly focused on managed markets.”
The first products launched in the US may include:
The Evolve® line of preservative free dry eye products;
A preservative free prescription product for the treatment of open angle glaucoma;
A range of supporting diagnostics.
“We are tremendously excited about this next stage in the growth of Aequus, while deepening the growing strategic relationship with Medicom,” said Doug Janzen CEO and Chairman of Aequus. “Both Aequus and Medicom are successfully growing and gaining market share for their ophthalmology products in Canada and the UK respectfully, and we are excited to jointly leverage our learnings and ophthalmic relationships as we approach this significant market. The best way to grow our business is to take existing knowledge and expertise into bigger markets and to do this with trusted partners.”
Christian Martin, Managing Director of Medicom Healthcare sheds more light on this joint effort. “Our alliance with Aequus allows us to reach the patients we need to serve. Medicom Healthcare’s commitment to elevate the awareness, affordability and availability of eye care globally is echoed by our dedication to realize a world that is ‘preservative free for everyone’.”
“This agreement is highly intuitive for both organizations,” said Ian Ball, Chief Commercial Officer of Aequus Pharmaceuticals. “Medicom has the fastest growing dry eye portfolio in the UK, and Aequus is looking forward to launching Medicom’s Evolve line of dry eye disease products in Canada in 2020. Aequus has grown to over 8% market share in our core glaucoma market in Canada and we believe taking these assets into existing multi-billion dollar markets really leverages our collective expertise and is a very natural progression for us all.”
Launched in 2015 in Europe, the Evolve® brand has grown to 5 products across 35 countries. With an array of products, the brand can address the various symptoms involved with dry eye disease and Blepharitis including discomfort, stinging, burning, and dryness. Currently in the US, the dry eye market is estimated at over $2bn, which includes both prescription and over-the-counter products. All of the products in this portfolio would be regulated as over the counter (“OTC”) or 505B2 products, which are abbreviated regulatory pathways in the US.
ABOUT THE GLAUCOMA MARKET