Nicox to sell £27m of new shares to finance growth

French pharma company creates 15 million new shares to push ophthalmic growth

03 Jun 2015 by Ryan O'Hare

Nicox has announced a major financing move as part of its growth strategy in the ophthalmic sector. The financing deal will see the French pharmaceutical company issue 15 million new shares, in a package worth an estimated €27m (£19.5m).

The growth strategy is based around three ophthalmic partnerships and strategies, with the shares, priced at €1.80, reserved for purchase by French or foreign companies or pharma and biotech investors.

“The financing attracted significant demand from major insititutional investors, particularly in the US,” said Michael Garufi, chairman and chief executive of Nicox.

Mr Garufi added: “We are now in a strong position to continue to drive the growth of Nicox, through achieving the full potential of our advanced therapeutic pipeline...this financing will help Nicox to support its development in the US, where we already have two highly promising products which could be launched within the next 24 months.”

The company is partnering with Bausch & Lomb on the glaucoma treatment, Vesneo. Following favourable Phase III results at the end of 2014, the drug is expected to launch in the US in the first half of 2016, pending successful appraisal by the FDA. The launch could generate over $130m (£86m) in sales, according to targets from the pharma company.

In addition, Nicox is developing AC-170 (cetirizine ophthalmic solution), a treatment for ocular itch associated with allergic conjunctivitis, which could rival Alcon’s recently approved Pazeo.

Outside of the US, the strategy will also see Nicox strengthening its commercial operations in five European markets, with a number of drug launches in the next two years, including AzaSite, for bacterial conjunctivitis, and BromSite, for pain and inflammation following cataract surgery.

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