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Allergan implant works as well as eye drops in late-stage trial

Allergan PLC said its investigational biodegradable implant Bimatoprost worked as well as eye drops in reducing pressure in patients with certain eye conditions in a late-stage trial.

The phase 3 study, conducted in 594 patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, compared the safety and effectiveness of Bimatoprost against timolol eye drops.

Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma, is characterized by an increased eye pressure caused by the eye's drainage canals slowly clogging. Meanwhile, ocular hypertension is a condition characterized by higher-than-normal pressure inside the eye.

Glaucoma is one of the primary causes of irreversible vision loss and blindness.

Results of the study showed that patients who received Bimatoprost had about a 30% reduction in eye pressure over the 12-week primary efficacy period.

The Dublin-based maker of Botox noted that the early data demonstrated the potential for the majority of the patients in the trial to be treatment-free for a year after getting their last implant.

Allergan will report additional safety data from the trial, along with the results of a second phase 3 study, in the first half of 2019. The company also expects to file Bimatoprost's new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the second half of 2019.