Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares surged as much as 32% in after hours trade Wednesday after the company said its eye drops intended for glaucoma had positive results in a late-stage clinical trial. If Aerie Pharma sees positive safety results for the Roclatan eye drops in an ongoing 12-month clinical trial, it plans to submit for Food and Drug Administration review in the first half of 2018, it said. The company said it believes that Roclatan, if approved, would be the first glaucoma product to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) -- a condition that commonly can lead to and accompany the eye disease -- through all known mechanisms, having "the potential to provide a greater IOP-lowering effect than any currently approved glaucoma product." The Wednesday results, which were primary efficacy results from a 90-day phase 3 registration trial, included Roclatan having statistical superiority over the two products it combines, or the current leading glaucoma therapy latanoprost and Aerie Pharma's Rhopressa. The most common adverse event was sporadic eye redness, which was reported in about 55% of patients and which most patients said was mild, according to Aerie. Data from the 12-month safety trial is expected in the third quarter of this year. Aerie Pharma shares have dropped 9.1% over the last three months, compared with a 1.6% rise in the S&P 500 .
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