The European Medicines Agency has approved Alcon Inc's (ACL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) glaucoma treatment Azarga, the eye-care products maker.
Although expected, after a recommendation in September, the news boosted shares in Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG which has bought a 25 percent stake in Alcon as a first step towards taking a majority stake from Swiss food group Nestle SA. "The launch of Azarga is good news for Alcon and Novartis," said Vontobel analyst Andrew Weiss.
The medicines agency approved Azarga for decreasing intraocular pressure in adults with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, Alcon said in a statement. Novartis shares had risen 1.7 percent to 55.45 Swiss francs by 0942 GMT, compared with a 0.3 percent drop in the European healthcare index.