The ISTA deal comes as the ophthalmic pharmaceutical market - expected to reach $17 billion globally by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts Inc. estimates - is growing due to aging populations and the eye problems that come with age, said Dr. David M. Kleinman, associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and CEO/co-founder of Eyeon Therapeutics Inc.
Before the B+L deal, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.
unsuccessfully sought to purchase ISTA
Last month it purchased the ophthalmic biotechnology company Eyetech Inc.
Merck & Co.
in 2011 purchased Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc., which specialized in ophthalmic products.
Glaxo-SmithKline and other global pharmaceutical companies continue to look at ophthalmology as good opportunities for meaningful growth, said Kleinman
earlier this month said it was starting a phase III clinical trial for a pharmaceutical being developed for treatment of glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
The drug being tested was developed by French pharmaceutical company NicOx SA, which in 2010 licensed it to B+L
"You see the large eye companies focusing on pharma acquisitions and licensing because everybody knows there are good treatments for ophthalmic diseases with pharmaceuticals," said Kleinman
, who has done some consulting work for B+L