The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a conjunctivitis medication made by Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Inspire (NASDAQ: ISPH) said it anticipates launching its AzaSite (azithromycin ophthalmic solution) 1percent solution in the latter part of the third quarter and expects to generate $30 million to $45 million in sales in 2008, based on current manufacturing and commercial plans.

The company acquired exclusive rights to commercialize AzaSite for ocular infections in the U.S. and Canada from InSite Vision Inc. in February. The medicine offers patients a reduced dosing regimen — one drop twice a day for two days and once a day for the next five— compared with other products for bacterial conjunctivitis, the company said.

"This unique formulation of the well-known, broad-spectrum antibiotic azithromycin results in a convenient topical dosing regimen, requiring less than half the number of drops for effective treatment compared to currently available products. These attributes are particularly important when treating young children and busy adults," said Dr. Terrence P. O’Brien, professor of ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami.

Inspire President and Chief Executive Christy Shaffer said the company plans to add to its sales force to take AzaSite to market and prepare for future product launches.