Santen and Aerie Conclude Exclusive License Agreement for Rhopressa and Rocklatan in Japan and Several Other Asian Countries
Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“Santen”) and Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AERI, “Aerie”) announced that Santen and Aerie have entered into an exclusive development and commercialization agreement for Rhopressa and Rocklatan in Japan, along with rights for several other Asian countries.
Aerie is an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of patients with open-angle glaucoma, ocular surface diseases and retinal diseases. Rhopressa (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02% and Rocklatan (netarsudil and latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005% are approved and being sold in the United States by Aerie. Preparations for the first Phase 3 study in Japan for Rhopressa are ongoing and the study is expected to commence before the end of 2020.
“In the treatment of glaucoma, where the number of glaucoma patients continues to increase and unmet medical needs remain, we are excited to see an increase in our product lineup and the opportunity to offer patients new treatment options,” said Shigeo Taniuchi, President and CEO of Santen. “Santen and Aerie both aim to further contribute to the treatment of glaucoma patients through these products, by taking advantage of Santen’s sales platform and relationships with local ophthalmologists in Japan and other Asian countries.”
“We are delighted to partner with Santen, which is a leading global ophthalmology company and the largest in Japan. We believe that Santen has unparalleled capabilities to develop and commercialize our glaucoma products and to enhance the treatment options for patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension, an about $1 billion market in Japan and East Asia. We look forward to a successful collaboration with Santen,” said Vicente Anido, Jr., Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Aerie will receive an upfront payment of $50 million, and various development and sales milestones of up to $99 million. Aerie is also eligible to receive additional consideration in excess of 25% of the products’ net sales, such consideration consisting of the cost of products supplied to Santen from Aerie and a royalty for Aerie’s intellectual property. Santen will be responsible for sales, marketing and pricing decisions relating to the products. Santen will also be responsible for all development and commercialization costs and activities related to the products in the territories covered by the agreement, however, Aerie and Santen will collaborate for the first Phase 3 study for Rhopressa in Japan. In addition to customary termination rights for both parties, in the event that patents are issued that may prevent the commercialization of the products, Santen would have the right to terminate the agreement and require Aerie’s repayment of a portion of the upfront payment, all development milestone payments, and a portion of the development expenses incurred by Santen.