VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 19, 2020 -- Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) (“Aequus” or the “Company”), a specialty pharmaceutical company announced today that together with its partner, Medicom Healthcare Ltd. (“Medicom”), has been issued a new Medical Device License for the first of three product submissions made for the EvolveTM preservative free dry eye product line. The new Medical Device License has been issued for EvolveTM Intensive Gel – a unique cross linked combination of Carbomer 980, Hyaluronate and glycerol – which act together to provide intensive, durable hydration for patients with moderate to severe forms of Dry Eye Disease. The formulation will be made available in an easysqueeze eye drop bottle, containing 360 drops, and no preservatives, phosphates or buffers.
“Evolve Intensive Gel is a one-of-a-kind formulation in Canada, and is only the first of a full line of Eye Care Professional Exclusive products being launched by Aequus, that will not only improve treatment and compliance for better patient outcomes, but create an improved revenue stream for Eye Care professionals who spend additional time and resources treating dry eye patients in practice,” said Grant Larsen, Chief Commercial Officer at Aequus.
“We are delighted that our partner Aequus Pharmaceuticals has achieved approval of Evolve Intensive Gel by Health Canada. We know that long term use of preservatives will damage the cornea and the Evolve preservative free dry eye product line can help with the symptoms of dry eye whilst protecting the cornea from that damage,” said Simon Martin, founder and CEO of Medicom Healthcare. “Called Revive in other countries, this product is a revolutionary triple action matrix gel designed for lubrication, restoration & protection of the ocular surface, providing extended ocular residency time.”
“This approval marks an important step for Aequus,” said Aequus CEO Doug Janzen. “The Evolve line of products are going to be important revenue drivers for Aequus and we are pleased that Evolve Intensive Gel was the first approved. Launch activities for all three Evolve products are underway while the remaining two EvolveTM products are currently under review for approval with Health Canada.”
ABOUT DRY EYE DISEASE
Dry eye disease (DED) is a common disorder of the tear film that leads to ocular surface damage over time. Previous research has shown DED reduces health and vision related quality of life and that it carries a considerable economic burden of disease. DED affects approximately 6.3 million Canadians, representing approximately 21% of the population.1 Home confinement, elearning and working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic means spending more time looking at screens, which has a significant impact on eye health. A combination of reduced frequency and intensity of blinking during screen time increases the risk of inducing or exacerbating dry eye disease.2
1. B. Caffery, S. Srinivasan, C.J. Reaume, et al., Prevalence of dry eye disease in Ontario, Canada: A population-based survey, Ocul. Surf. 17 (2019) 526-531.
2. https://theophthalmologist.com/covid-19-and-dry-eye-disease; accessed October 15, 2020
Launched in 2015 in Europe, the Evolve® brand has grown to 5 products across 35 countries. With an array of products, the brand can address the various symptoms involved with dry eye disease and blepharitis including discomfort, stinging, burning, and dryness. Currently in Canada, the dry eye market is estimated at over $90M, which includes both prescription and over-the-counter products.
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 sales and marketing efforts to include several commercial products in ophthalmology and transplant. 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.