Aerie Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of first-in-class glaucoma therapies. Glaucoma represents a significant unmet medical need. The National Eye Institute estimates the U.S. glaucoma patient population will increase from 2.7M patients in 2010 to 6.3M patients in 2050. According to IMS data, the U.S. market for glaucoma prescription treatments was $2.5 billion in 2015.
Aerie’s lead product candidate, Rhopressa (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02%, has been shown in clinical trials to be a once-daily triple-action eye drop that has demonstrated the ability to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension in Phase 3 clinical trials. Aerie is also developing Roclatan (netarsudil/latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005%, which is a once-daily quadruple-action single drop combination of Rhopressa plus latanoprost, that is currently in Phase 3 trials. Aerie estimates that Rhopressa could be commercialized in late 2017 or early 2018 with Roclatan following roughly one year behind. We believe that Aerie’s products have the potential to play a significant role in the treatment of glaucoma.
Aerie typifies the companies Foresite Capital looks for, with multiple late-stage products in a large yet underserved market, and a strong and proven management team. Foresite Capital initially invested in Aerie as a public company in 2014 and has significantly added to its position as the company continues to execute.