Through its global business activities, Santen aims to improve quality of life for patients around the world by harnessing the deep-rooted patient centric approach and its expertize and technical capabilities in ophthalmology.
Santen offers a full range of ophthalmology treatments, such as corneal and retinal diseases, glaucoma and drug delivery systems, and seeks opportunities for the diseases and technologies listed below to enhance its portfolio.
Santen is poised for exciting growth and opportunities in the next decade, and beyond. From the acquisition of Eyevance Pharmaceuticals to the products currently in various stages of the ophthalmic pipeline, Santen remains committed to the field of ophthalmology and to the social innovation that has driven the vision of the company from its inception.
Throughout the company’s expansion, its focus on the patient has remained at the heart of it all. According to Tatsuya (Tats) Kaihara, Head of North America and CEO of Santen Inc., there are a number of exciting products coming to market.
The North America business continues to act on the potential of a diverse global pipeline with robust ophthalmology solutions, including innovative eye disease treatments to novel diagnostic devices, delivery systems, and more.
With a strong emphasis on glaucoma, Santen’s pipeline is well-positioned to help address a significant unmet need in the US for the approximately 3.7 million people who will be living with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).
Furthest along, DE-128 (MicroShunt) is an investigational surgical glaucoma implant designed to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with POAG whose IOP is not controlled when using maximum tolerated glaucoma medications.
DE-128 is a flexible, 8.5mm-long tube with planar fins to help fixate the device in the tissue and prevent leakage and migration.
Also in the glaucoma space, Kaihara says that DE-117 (Omidenepag isopropyl), with a novel mechanism of action, is in Phase 3; and DE-126 (Sepetaprost), a prostaglandin analogue with a novel mode of action is in Phase 2b, are indicated for glaucoma and for ocular hypertension.
“As we look at pursuing unmet medical needs, DE-127 [atropine sulfate] for patients with mild and moderate myopia, comes from a collaboration with the Singapore Eye Research Institute and has completed Phase 2 trials,” adds Kaihara.
In addition, Santen Canada has launched Verkazia (cyclosporine topical emulsion 0.1%) Eye Drops. While this fulfills a small market, it’s an important one, says Kaihara.
Verkazia provides an effective maintenance treatment option for vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC), a rare and recurrent allergic eye condition prevalent in children and adolescents.
Kaihara says Santen is enthusiastic about seeing this product fulfill a future unmet need in the US market.
Along with an exciting product pipeline, Santen’s acquisition of Eyevance Pharmaceuticals positions the company to continue to build the commercial infrastructure it is committed to, says Kaihara.
“Eyevance Pharmaceuticals has a variety of products that fit nicely with our goals and mission, including four in the prescription pharmaceutical area and one in the over-the-counter area—all already on market,” Kaihara says.
He highlights, in particular, FRESHKOTE Preservative Free for dry eye disease (DED), which is available without a prescription.
It has been on the market for more than two years and is proving to be an innovative solution for an increasingly common problem. It’s not only the acquisition of the Eyevance product portfolio that continues to help propel Santen forward, but also its team and its position in the US market, Kaihara notes.
“They have an established and strong presence in the US market, and we are excited about using that experience to bring even more of what Santen has to offer to North America,” he says. “We look forward to using their products and experience to keep building. The acquisition of Eyevance is a great opportunity for us to reach even more people with great products, but also to grow the future vision of Santen even more quickly.”
Kaihara says that Santen has always been committed to “connecting the dots from academia to new technology.” Rather than having these areas exist as silos, they must come together.
In fact, he notes that it is the collaborations between academia and research with new technology that is helping bring innovation to the field of ophthalmology. This is where Santen is focusing its efforts, as it remains committed to the field.
The company’s long-term focus on the front of the eye—and now the attention on the back of the eye—continues to demonstrate this ongoing dedication. But Kaihara says that product development and research boils down to societal needs and remaining connected with end users—the patients.
“Our goal is always to be an innovator for the people—and for society,” Kaihara continues. “We have to understand the patient and the patient’s needs to be able to find the technology and solutions that will solve them.”
For these reasons, Kaihara says that Santen’s overarching goal is to be a “social innovator” as the company looks to the next decade. This is all part of the Santen 2030 VISION, which is focused on a commitment to social innovation and inclusion.
“Our acquisitions, our research and development activities, the products in our pipeline—all of this must function as a joint collaboration with a shared goal,” he says. “It must come back to connecting with the people.”
Kaihara says that Santen will remain connected with patient needs, including the challenges they face and how innovative solutions can change their lives for the better. As Santen expands further into the US market, he says the company is incredibly excited about what the future holds.
“We have been waiting for this moment, and are very excited about expanding our reach into the US,” he says. “We remain committed to our goals of staying connected with the patient, even as we grow rapidly and continue to expand.