UPDATE 2-Allergan hopes to launch Ozurdex in Europe in Q3

* Drugs agency backing means approval likely within months

* Allergan says expects to launch drug in Europe in Q3 2010

(Adds statement from Allergan)

LONDON, May 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Allergan’s (AGN.N: ) injectable eye
treatment Ozurdex won the backing of Europe’s drug regulators on
Friday, paving the way for the drug to be marketed in Europe in
the third quarter of this year.

Ozurdex, which is used in the treatment of macular oedema,
was approved in the United States in June 2009, and the European
Medicines Agency’s positive recommendation should allow the drug
to get final approval for use in Europe in a couple of months.

The company said the decision means Ozurdex will become the
first approved treatment in Europe for macular oedema in
patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO).

“Pending the final approval by the European authorities,
Allergan anticipates launching Ozurdex across the region
starting in the third quarter of 2010,” Allergan’s president for
Europe, Africa and the Middle East, David Endicott, said in a
statement.

RVO is a relatively common cause of vision loss, affecting
around five in every 1,000 people over the age of 30. Allergan
estimates that more than 200,000 people in the UK have RVO.

The active substance in Ozurdex is dexamethasone, an agent
that has been shown to suppress inflammation. The drug is an
injectable, sustained-release, potent steroid implant.

Macular oedema involves the breakdown of blood-retinal
barriers, allowing fluid to leak into the tissues of the retina.
Harm to eyesight can be reversible in the short term, but
long-term macular oedema can cause irreversible damage and lead
to blindness. The condition is common in patients with diabetes.

Stock Today

(Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Will Waterman)

UPDATE 2-Allergan hopes to launch Ozurdex in Europe in Q3