"We are surprised and disappointed with the FDA's decision on our application to market ILUVIEN in the U.S. to patients with this devastating disease. Based on extensive research with U.S. retinal physicians, we have learned that ILUVIEN's long-term sustained delivery treatment benefit is desired and that ILUVIEN has a manageable risk to benefit ratio. We continue to believe in ILUVIEN as a long-term effective treatment option for DME. We are committed to, and have the funds for, pursuing approval in Europe and for evaluating our options in the U.S.," said Dan Myers, president and chief executive officer of Alimera.
For Europe, Alimera expects to submit its formal response to the Preliminary Assessment Report to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) later this month. Based on this submission, the MHRA is expected to make a recommendation on the approvability of ILUVIEN to Alimera and the Concerned Member States (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain) by the end of this year, with a decision regarding the approval of ILUVIEN expected in the first half of 2012. The market opportunity in Europe is similar in size to the U.S. market opportunity.
MHRA recommendation will be a Christmas gift, followed by an outright approval in 1Q12 that will take this back to $4-5 range. FDA might soften their stance and just ask for proper labeling but that is not the bet right now. Remember, "the market opportunity in Europe is similar in size to the U.S. market opportunity".