Novartis, Bausch & Lomb Finish Eye Drug Deal

ROCHESTER, NY (AP) -- Eye drug maker Bausch & Lomb said Monday it finished the acquisition of the drug Miochol-E from Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG.

The Federal Trade Commission said last month that Novartis would have to stop selling the eye drug to complete its planned acquisition of eye care company Alcon. Novartis and Alcon are the only two companies that sell injectable miotics, a group of drugs used in cataract eye surgery to stabilize the iris and fluids inside the eye.

The antitrust regulator said Novartis' purchase of Alcon would be anticompetitive for U.S. consumers and likely lead to increased prices for the eye care drugs.

Bausch & Lomb and Novartis did not disclose purchase terms. Novartis will provide technical assistance to Bausch & Lomb to help transfer the drug's manufacturing.

Bausch & Lomb, which employs close to 11,000 people, makes contact lenses, ophthalmic drugs and vision-correction surgical instruments. It was acquired by private equity firm Warburg Pincus for $3.67 billion in October 2007.

U.S.-traded shares of Novartis rose 94 cents to $56.68 in Monday morning trading
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