Merck to buy eye care brand for $1.3B

Merck has reached a deal to purchase ophthalmology brand Eyebiotech for $1.3 billion, according to a May 29 report from The Wall Street Journal.

Merck plans to pay $1.3 billion in cash upfront to acquire the company, with a potential $1.7 billion in additional milestone payments. 

This marks Merck's further expansion into the eye care market, which it had initially abandoned a decade ago. Its venture arm was already an investor in EyeBio, according to the report. 

EyeBio's lead medication is Restoret, which treats eye conditions, including a form of age-related macular degeneration that leads to blurred vision and potential blindness.

The drug is also in development for wet AMD, a condition that 2 million people in the U.S. suffer from. 

Competitors Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Eylea and Roche brought in $5.9 billion in sales and $2.7 billion in sales, respectively, for their wet AMD medications in 2023. 

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