Saint-Laurent du Var, France, May 21, 2019 – Horus Pharma, an independent laboratory specialized in ophtalmology, announces that it is now making ILUVIEN® available to French patients. ILUVIEN® is owned by Alimera Sciences, Inc. (US).
ILUVIEN® is an intravitreal implant which continuously releases a corticosteroid directly into the vitreous body for a period of 36 months. It was granted marketing authorization in Europe in 2012 for the treatment of vision impairment associated with chronic Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). It is a drug approved for patients insufficiently responsive to other available therapies, such as laser photocoagulation or ranibizumab.
ILUVIEN’s coverage by the French health insurance system was obtained by Horus Pharma and approved by France’s Economic Committee of Healthcare Products on March 28, 2019. ILUVIEN® was released onto the French market on April 1, 2019.
In patients with chronic DME (? 3 years), ILUVIEN® showed superiority over placebo after 24 months in terms of percentage of patients with an improved visual acuity of ? 15 letters.
“We are delighted about this successful cooperation with Alimera Sciences which enables us to market ILUVIEN® in France for patients in need of a better alternative treatment for their DME,” said Martine Claret, president of Horus Pharma. “Horus Pharma, an independent ophthalmology laboratory, is a major player in Europe in innovative treatments for corneal conditions, in particular dry eye, wound healing, keratoconus and corneal edema. Distributing ILUVIEN® in France will allow Horus Pharma to broaden its therapeutic range in retinal diseases.”
“This product is eagerly awaited by both patients and retinologists as a new therapeutic alternative for DME patients. Horus Pharma is proud to be contributing to the improvement of care services in a rapidly growing, blinding disease,” added Martine Claret.
“France represents an important market in the field of intraocular steroids. DME can lead to blindness and is becoming increasingly common; an improvement in the treatment is welcome, both for patients and healthcare professionals,” said Rick Eiswirth, CEO of Alimera Sciences. “Horus Pharma’s expertise in market access has been important in successfully marketing ILUVIEN® in France.”
Horus Pharma organised a symposium on May 11th at the annual congress of the French Society of Ophthalmology (SFO) on the subject of DME and the role of ILUVIEN® in its treatment.
About diabetic retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the main causes of blindness in the world, especially in adults. The two main sight-threatening types of diabetic retinopathy are Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) and severe diabetic retinopathy (including proliferative retinopathy). 
DME is a disease affecting the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central and fine vision. When DME occurs, the blood vessels in the retina swell and ooze, and the exuded fluid causes swelling of the macula. Macular edema then blurs vision and leads to long-term vision loss. DME prevalence is directly related to the duration and type of diabetes. DME alone is the leading cause of blindness among people under fifty.
Diabetes affected 442 million people in 2018 worldwide and its prevalence continues to increase in Europe. In France, 5% of the population, i.e. more than 3 million people, are affected by diabetes. Its prevalence increased by 2.4% per year between 2009 and 2013.  In men aged 70 to 80, the prevalence is 20%. Over 5.6% of patients within this diabetic population develop DME, i.e. in France more than 168,000 patients live with this disease. 
. SFO Report 2016 – Chapter 8 – Diabetic Macular Edema
. INVS (French Institute for Public Health Surveillance) – Diabetes – Generalities and Key Figures – Public Health, France. Source: Sniiiram-DCIR (CnamTS) [French National Health Insurance Fund]
. Delcourt C, Massin P, Rosilio M. Epidemiology of diabetic retinopathy: expected vs reported prevalence of cases in the French Population. Diabetes Metab 2009; 35: 431-8.
About Alimera Sciences, Inc.
Alimera, founded in June 2003, is a pharmaceutical company that specializes in the commercialization and development of prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. Alimera is presently focused on diseases affecting the back of the eye, or retina, because these diseases are not well treated with current therapies and will affect millions of people in our aging populations.
About Horus Pharma
Horus Pharma is an independent ophthalmology laboratory that develops, patents and markets preservative-free health products for eyes and eyelids. The company comprehensively addresses patients’ needs by offering more than fifty subsidized and non-subsidized products for ophthalmology, dermo-ophthalmology, contactology, ocular micronutrition and surgery.
Horus Pharma is among the market leaders in France in its sector. It maintains a strong focus on innovation, by investing 10 percent of its turnover into R&D.
The company distributes its products in France and worldwide through its subsidiaries in Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, and through distribution agreements in other countries.
Founded in 2003 in Saint-Laurent du Var, France, by Martine and Claude Claret, Horus Pharma currently has more than 140 employees. In 2018 its turnover was €50 million ($56.5M). The company works closely with France’s Vision Institute, the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA), the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Universities of Paris and Marseille. It is a member of the Eurobiomed cluster and collaborates with other European universities and companies.