Visus signs deal with Zhaoke to develop eye-drops across Asia  

Clinical-stage pharmaceutical company Visus Therapeutics has signed a licensing agreement for the development and commercialisation of its pupil-modulating eye drops with Zhaoke Ophthalmology. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Zhaoke will be responsible for clinical development, regulatory approval and commercialisation of Visus’ Brimochol PF and Carbachol PF in Greater China, South Korea and select Southeast Asian territories.  

Brimochol PF and Carbachol PF are investigational, preservative-free therapeutics designed to be long-acting, once-daily eye drops to correct for the loss of near vision associated with presbyopia – a loss of vision associated with ageing.  

Visus will receive an upfront payment of $15 million and will potentially receive up to $115 million in regulatory, commercialisation and sales-driven milestones. Visus will also earn tiered royalties on future sales of these products in the contracted territories. 

Official comments  

“We are pleased to partner with Zhaoke Ophthalmology, an innovation-focused company with a highly experienced commercial team and a robust research, clinical and manufacturing infrastructure,” said Ben Bergo, co-founder and chief executive officer at Visus Therapeutics. “Our market research indicates there is high demand for a long-acting, presbyopia-correcting eye drop in China, and we are excited to collaborate with Zhaoke Ophthalmology to accelerate the clinical development and launch our lead candidates in Greater China, South Korea and select Southeast Asian markets.” 

“Zhaoke Ophthalmology is excited to join Visus in potentially launching the first once-daily presbyopia-correcting eye drop in Greater China, South Korea and select Southeast Asian markets. After extensive analysis of other presbyopia-correcting eye drops in development, Zhaoke Ophthalmology is confident that BRIMOCHOL PF and Carbachol PF have the potential to become the best-in-class drugs for the treatment of presbyopia, which is backed by the Visus leadership team’s unparalleled experience in the ophthalmology category,” said Dr Li Xiaoyi (Benjamin), chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer at Zhaoke Ophthalmology Limited. “We will become the first ophthalmic pharmaceutical company in China with innovative drugs in advanced clinical development covering the three major front of the eye diseases, namely, dry eye, myopia and presbyopia. We will continue to further expand our world-leading pipeline of ophthalmic assets in both the front and back of the eye and advance these promising investigational therapeutics to market in China and beyond as quickly as possible.” 

Zhaoke’s clinical development plans include submitting a new drug application to the Center for Drug Evaluation in China for CsA Ophthalmic Gel for dry eye in the near term, continuing patient recruitment for NVK002 Phase 3 study for myopia, as well as launching the clinical study in China for presbyopia corresponding to the ongoing Phase 3 study of BRIMOCHOL PF and Carbachol PF in the United States. 


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