Novartis unit Alcon says the US Food and Drug Administration has approved Pazeo for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis.

Pazeo (olopatadine 0.7%) is a daily eye drop which in two studies demonstrated statistically significantly-improved relief at 24 hours post-treatment compared to Alcon’s own Pataday (olopatadine 0.2%). Up to 30% of the US population is affected by seasonal allergy symptoms, with as many as 70%-80% of these demonstrating symptoms such as itching of the eye.

Alcon quoted Eric Donnenfeld of New York University as saying that eye allergies “can be a 24-hour-a-day burden for patients”, adding that they now have an alternative that can provide ocular itch relief for the whole day and night. This approval “represents an exciting new option in ocular allergy itch relief therapy”, he said.

Pazeo will be available in the USA next month, followed by Latin American and Asian markets through 2017.