Ista announces acquisition of allergy drug

IRVINE, Calif. Ista Pharmaceuticals has acquired rights for a drug that is designed to treat nasal allergy symptoms, the company announced Wednesday.

Ista, which acquired rights last year for a similar formula that treats eye allergies, sought to purchase the U.S. rights to bepotastine, a medication produced by Japanese company Tanabe Seiyaku Co. Ltd. The company reportedly paid $2 million for U.S. rights.

The deal calls for the Irvine, California-based company to provide Tanabe additional payments the drug has been developed where it is able to treat nasal allergies.

Ista said in a statement that it decided to negotiate with Tanabe after clinical studies of the eye formulation suggested it could improve nasal allergy symptoms. The company also said that it expects to start testing nasal bepotastine around late 2008 or early 2009.