Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. has paid $62.5-million to acquire the U.S. rights to Visudyne, a treatment for a common form of age-related blindness.
Under the deal with Vancouver-based QLT Inc., which developed Visudyne, Valeant could pay up to an additional $20-million, including $15-million related to royalties for product sales outside the United States and $5-million related to a laser developmental program.
QLT was at one time Canada's most successful biotechnology firms, based on the commercial success of Visudyne, which uses a combination of injections and light therapy to treat AMD.
But other products have come to the market in recent years and QLT has struggled to find another commercially successful product to replace Visudyne.
As a result, QLT said during the summer it would cut 146 of its 214 remaining jobs. It later lowered its revenue forecast for 2012 to between $31-million and $36-million, compared to its original guidance of $35 to $40-million.
Valeant, which has acquired numerous products and companies since it absorbed the former Biovail pharmaceutical business, said Monday that it sees Visudyne as a valuable addition to the company's ophthalmology business.
"Not only will we be able to use Visudyne to better leverage our current ophthalmology sales force with a complementary product to Macugen, we are pleased to add a product that retinal specialists around the county can use as an adjunctive to products like Macugen to improve treatment options," said Michael Pearson, Valeant's chairman and chief executive officer.