Tafluprost now licensed worldwide

April 22, 2009

A worldwide licensing agreement for tafluprost, preserved and preservative-free formulations, has been announced between Merck & Co Inc., and Santen Pharmaceutical Co Ltd.

A worldwide licensing agreement for tafluprost, preserved and preservative-free formulations, has been announced between Merck & Co Inc., and Santen Pharmaceutical Co Ltd.

The drug belongs to the prostaglandin class and is designed for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension. It already has marketing approval in several European and Nordic countries and is marketed under the trademark of TAFLOTAN in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

Merck has paid an undisclosed sum based on future sales in exchange for commercial rights to tafluprost in Western Europe, with the exception of Germany, North and South America and Africa.

"The licensing of tafluprost from Santen, a company with extensive experience in ophthalmics, further expands Merck's strong portfolio of topical treatments in ophthalmology," said Vlad Hogenhuis, MD, senior vice president and general manager, neuroscience and ophthalmology, Merck. "After 50 years, Merck remains committed to advancing ophthalmic research and expanding global outreach to improve therapeutic options for patients."

Akira Kurokawa, president and CEO of Santen Ltd., described the agreement as: "An important milestone in the development and commercialization of tafluprost, Through this licensing agreement with Merck, we are well positioned to significantly expand our access to additional markets."

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