The University of California, Irvine has received a $2 million gift from The Allergan Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Allergan, Inc. (NYSE:AGN), to the Department of Ophthalmology. The gift - the largest donation ever to ophthalmology - will further strengthen the department's research agenda and clinical care.
"This generous and far-reaching gift from Allergan will have a lasting impact on the university, School of Medicine and the Department of Ophthalmology,"┬ said Chancellor Michael V. Drake. "The vital partnership we share with Allergan will further strengthen our position as an innovative center of excellence in ophthalmology that will improve lives in Orange County, the region and beyond."
Some of the nation's top researchers in the areas of retinal disease, glaucoma, corneal disease and refractive surgery currently work at UC Irvine, and Allergan's donation will help them meet complex medical and surgical eye care needs, conduct clinical research, develop programs and technologies in conjunction with industry, and seek clinical solutions to serious and debilitating eye-threatening diseases.
"Allergan has been a leader in eye care for more than half a century, and throughout our history we have partnered with the world's leading research scientists and institutions to foster advances in the prevention and treatment of ophthalmic diseases," said David E.I. Pyott, Allergan's Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. "As the world's fastest-growing company in the ophthalmology market, this gift underscores Allergan's longtime commitment to UC Irvine and to the outstanding work it is spearheading to develop new vision-saving treatments and technologies. It also exemplifies our continued investment in the development of our local community in which we live and work."
In the future, UC Irvine would like to develop a new facility - The Eye Institute - dedicated to teaching, clinical care and research on retinal diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. If the proposal is approved and funded, Allergan's contribution will be used support retinal research within the institute and the Department of Ophthalmology.
About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with┬ more than┬ 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,400 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.3 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.
About the UC Irvine Department of Ophthalmology: The department is committed to improving the patients' lives by providing high quality, compassionate ophthalmic care through innovative research and education. From basic science to applied research, the department houses an exceptional team of scientists, engineers and physicians, which includes geneticists, infectious disease specialists and developers of sight-saving technologies. Its ophthalmology residency and fellowship programs train the next generation of eye physicians and surgeons.
About Allergan and The Allergan Foundation: Allergan, Inc., with headquarters in Irvine, California, is a technology-driven, global health care company providing specialty pharmaceutical and medical device products worldwide. Allergan develops and commercializes products in the ophthalmology, neurosciences, dermatology, medical aesthetics and other specialty markets that deliver value to its customers, satisfy unmet medical needs, and improve patients' lives. Allergan has been a world leader in ophthalmology for more than half a century, with products focused around treatments for glaucoma, ocular allergy and infections, retinal disease and dry eyes. Allergan has one of the broadest product pipelines of any company pursuing retinal therapeutics, and also continues to pursue novel treatments for glaucoma and dry eye disease. A major focus of Allergan's research and development pipeline is on back-of-the-eye diseases such as macular edema, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in developed countries. In addition, Allergan is supporting the world's largest Phase III clinical trial to investigate the potential use of a neuroprotective compound for the treatment of glaucoma.
Created in 1998, The Allergan Foundation is dedicated to making a lasting and positive impact on the communities and neighborhoods that its employees call home, in partnership with those whose philanthropic endeavors match Allergan's specialties and areas of research interest. The Foundation focuses its support on not-for-profit organizations in four philanthropic areas: the arts, civic and community programs, education, and health and human services. With its financial assistance and commitment to leadership, The Allergan Foundation creates new opportunities for valuable charitable organizations that improve the lives in the community. Since its inception in 1998, The Allergan Foundation has made grants of approximately $9.7 million to hundreds of organizations.
Allergan Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains┬ "forward-looking statements,"┬ including, but not limited to, the statements by Mr. Pyott. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from Allergan's expectations and projections. Allergan expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required to do so by law. Additional information concerning risk factors affecting Allergan can be found in press releases issued by Allergan, as well as Allergan's public periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the discussion under Item 1A of Part I,┬ "Risk Factors," in Allergan's 2005 Form 10-K. Copies of Allergan's press releases and additional information about Allergan are available on the World Wide Web at www.allergan.com or you can contact the Allergan Investor Relations Department by calling 1-714-246-4636.