What Warburg Discloses About Its Two Ophthalmological Investments

It is curious to me that Warburg Pincus owns controlling stakes in two companies with competing product lines — doubly curious that Fred Hassan’s fingerprints figure in both. Today, Merck agreed to take one of the competitors off of Warburg Pincus’ hands, for about $430 million. Wild. Draw your own conclusions, from the below disclosures. Here — from each relevant sub-page of the Warburg site:

. . . .Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Raleigh, NC, is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing new treatments for diseases in the ophthalmic and respiratory areas. Founded in 1993 and publicly traded since 2000, Inspire currently markets three ophthalmology products and has two drugs in late-stage clinical development: Denufosol in Phase III for the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis and AzaSite for blepharitis.

Warburg Pincus led a private placement in Inspire in July 2007, and subsequently participated in a follow-on public offering in 2009. Since Warburg Pincus’ original investment, Inspire has successfully completed one Phase III trial of Denufosol for the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis, launched AzaSite for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis, and announced positive Phase II trial results of AzaSite for the treatment of blepharitis. Additionally, in 2009, Warburg Pincus and the board recruited a new CEO in Adrian Adams, former President & CEO of Sepracor which he sold to Dainippon Sumitomo for $2.6 billion and former President & CEO of Kos which he sold to Abbott for $3.7 billion. . . .

Bausch + Lomb, based in Rochester, NY, was founded in 1853 and is one of the oldest continually operating companies in the US. The Company has one of the best known health care brands in the world and offers one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in the ophthalmic industry, with leading market positions in several major product categories and products available in over 100 countries. The Company‘s core businesses include contact lenses and lens care solutions, as well as ophthalmic surgical and pharmaceutical products.

In October 2007, Warburg Pincus led the acquisition of Bausch + Lomb, which had previously been a publicly traded NYSE company. In February 2008, Warburg Pincus helped Bausch + Lomb acquire eyeonics, the developer and marketer of the crystalens intraocular lens (IOL), the first and only FDA-approved accommodating IOL for the treatment of cataracts. In March 2010, Warburg Pincus recruited Fred Hassan, former Chairman and CEO of Schering-Plough, as the new Chairman of Bausch + Lomb, and Brent Saunders, former President of Global Consumer Health at Schering-Plough as the new Chief Executive Officer of Bausch + Lomb. . . .

Do stay tuned.


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