VANCOUVER, BC. July 16, 2018 - Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) (“Aequus” or the “Company”), is pleased to announce that it has agreed to new terms for its promotional service agreement with Sandoz on PRVistitan™ (“Vistitan”) with improved economics and a term extension of an additional year. Aequus began promotional efforts in May 2016 for Vistitan (bimatoprost 0.03%, ophthalmic solution), which is approved in Canada for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (“IOP”) in patients with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Under the previous agreement, Aequus and Sandoz split revenues based upon an agreed to tiered structure over the term. With this amendment, revenue splits as of 2019 will increase from the originally agreed to tiering schedule by an additional 7% of net product sales and up to an additional 12% if certain milestones are met. The term has been extended to June 2021, with an option for renewal if mutually agreed to.
“Sandoz has proven to be a great partner through the successful launch of Vistitan, and we are very pleased to extend our promotional efforts for this product. We have consistently grown market share for Vistitan and have achieved reimbursement in many key provinces since its launch. There is room for continued growth, and this improvement on terms allows us to continue our investments in Vistitan to accomplish that growth,” said Ian Ball, Chief Commercial Officer. “Our dedicated ophthalmology sales team will continue to share the benefits of Vistitan with clinicians and patients for the duration of the extended term.”
“We are delighted to sign this extension and improvement on commercial terms with Sandoz. We see this as validation of our efforts and partnership model as we continue to commercialize medications that serve an unmet need in Canada,” said Doug Janzen, Chairman and CEO of Aequus. “We are on track to meet our revenue targets in 2018 for this product, and this further enhances our expected trajectory for the coming years.”
Aequus’ ophthalmology focused salesforce has been marketing and promoting the branded ophthalmology product, Vistitan (bimatoprost 0.03%, ophthalmic solution) in Canada since May 2016. Aequus splits revenues of this product with its partner in a tiered structure.
Bimatoprost 0.03% is a prostaglandin approved by Health Canada for the reduction of elevated IOP in patients with open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. There are an estimated 400,000 people living with glaucoma in Canada in 2018, according to the Glaucoma Research Society of Canada. The disease is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, but is asymptomatic, which means that more than half of people are unaware they have it. The incidence of glaucoma is highest in patients above the age of 80, but onset may be as early as 40 years of age. IOP lowering drugs are prescribed as soon as the disease is diagnosed and must be taken chronically to prevent vision loss, with prostaglandins remaining as one of the primary treatment options for lowering IOP in glaucoma. Vistitan, which was approved by Health Canada in 2014, is currently the only marketed version of 0.03% bimatoprost ophthalmic solution in Canada for this indication. Since its launch, and with the support of Aequus’ promotional efforts, Vistitan™ has been successfully listed among 90% of private payor groups as well as a benefit under key provincial formularies, including the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan, Alberta Health and Manitoba Health.
About Aequus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V:AQS) (OTCQB:AQSZF) is a growing specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing high quality, differentiated products. Aequus has grown its pipeline to include several commercial products in ophthalmology and transplant, and a development stage pipeline in neurology and psychiatry with a goal of addressing the need for improved medication adherence through enhanced delivery systems. As a complement to its focus in neurology, our most recent addition to the development pipeline was a long-acting form of medical cannabis, where there is a high need for a consistent, predictable and pharmaceutical-grade delivery of products for patients. Aequus intends to commercialize its internal programs in Canada alongside its current portfolio of marketed established medicines and will look to form strategic partnerships that would maximize the reach of its product candidates worldwide. Aequus plans to build on its Canadian commercial platform through the launch of additional products that are either created internally or brought in through an acquisition or license; remaining focused on highly specialized therapeutic areas. For further information, please visit www.aequuspharma.ca.