Alcon, the global leader in eye care dedicated to helping people see brilliantly, today announced positive topline results from the two pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials (COMET-2 and COMET-3) evaluating the efficacy and safety of AR-15512, a candidate treatment for the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease (DED).

In both COMET-2 and COMET-3, which enrolled more than 930 dry eye subjects in total (randomized 1:1 to AR-15512 or vehicle control), the primary endpoint of the proportion of subjects with at least a 10-mm increase in unanesthetized Schirmer’s score (a measure of tear production) achieved statistical significance at Day 14 [p<0.0001]. These data are consistent with the proposed mechanism of action of AR-15512.

“We are excited by AR-15512 as it has the potential to address the limitations of current dry eye prescription options and provide Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) and dry eye sufferers with a new and effective approach to the management of dry eye, a chronic and undertreated disease,” said David Endicott, CEO of Alcon. “AR-15512 is the first product candidate in our emerging ophthalmic pharmaceutical portfolio, representing our legacy of commitment to innovation in eye care.”

AR-15512 represents an opportunity to bring relief to dry eye sufferers. While DED is one of the most common ocular disorders, affecting an estimated 38 million people in the US, only about 18 million are diagnosed and less than 10% of those diagnosed are treated with a prescription product. This represents the significant need for an effective chronic treatment that can provide rapid natural tear production.

In these studies, additional data derived from secondary endpoints demonstrated the rapid onset and sustained tear production associated with AR-15512 compared to vehicle, as early as Day 1 and persistent to Day 90. Overall, AR-15512 was well tolerated and no serious ocular adverse events were reported.

“A key gap in dry eye medications is rapid speed of onset,” said Edward Holland, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati, a key advisor on COMET-2 and -3 and Senior Scientific Advisor at Alcon. “AR-15512 demonstrated this important achievement in both pivotal efficacy and safety studies and it represents a first-in-class candidate for chronic dry eye.”

AR-15512 is an investigational drug product that has not been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval and is not currently commercially available. Alcon anticipates filing the NDA for AR-15512 with FDA in mid-2024.

Alcon’s ophthalmic pharmaceutical portfolio currently includes Rocklatan, Rhopressa, Simbrinza, Eysuvis, and Inveltys.