July 02, 2014
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Nicox enters agreement to acquire Aciex Therapeutics for up to $120 million

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Nicox has signed an agreement to acquire outstanding equity in Aciex Therapeutics, a private U.S.-based ophthalmic pharmaceutical company.

The agreement includes a $65 million upfront payment in newly issued Nicox shares and contingent value rights to shares that may increase the purchase total to a maximum of $120 million, according to a news release from Nicox. Completion of the agreement is subject to the approval of Nicox shareholders and other conditions.

The acquisition would expand Nicox’s development pipeline to include Aciex’s AC-170 for allergic conjunctivitis, the release said. AC-170 has completed two phase 3 safety and efficacy trials. Nicox plans to seek a pre-NDA meeting before submitting a new drug application for AC-170. Another therapeutic candidate, AC-155, is being developed to treat postoperative inflammation and pain and is expected to begin a phase 2 trial next year.

Nicox would also gain a portfolio of clinical and preclinical product candidates targeting areas such as ocular allergy, dry eye and other inflammatory eye conditions, the release said.

“The combination with Aciex would enable Nicox to expand its therapeutic pipeline to target major segments of the ophthalmic sector, including the $816 million U.S. allergic conjunctivitis market,” Michele Garufi, chairman and CEO of Nicox, said in the release.