Nicox S.A. announced that Valeant Pharmaceuticals has acquired Nicox’s U.S. diagnostics subsidiary Nicox Inc., in a deal worth up to $20 million.
Under the terms of the transaction, Valeant has acquired most of the Nicox commercial infrastructure in the United States associated with diagnostics, while Nicox has retained a number of U.S.-based employees focused on therapeutics.
“The acquisition of Nicox's U.S. diagnostic business, Nicox Inc., by Valeant will allow Nicox to leverage resources for our growing pipeline, including the recent acquisition of Aciex Therapeutics, Inc., within the ophthalmic therapeutic space, which is now the primary focus of the company,” Jerry St. Peter, executive vice president and GM of Aciex Therapeutics, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Nicox S.A., told Optometry Times.
“We are very proud to have created an emerging and innovative ophthalmic diagnostics business in less than two years on the U.S. market, and to have attracted a prestigious company such as Valeant to build on the momentum that has been created,” says Michele Garufi, CEO of Nicox. “The decision to focus on therapeutics is due to several recent and short-to-mid-term opportunities under advanced discussions. This strategic move with our long-standing partner Valeant will enable us to leverage resources for our growing pipeline of advanced drug-candidates.”
Nicox intends to concentrate its commercial and development resources on ophthalmic therapeutics as part of its strategy to build an international ophthalmic company in Europe and in the U.S. The decision reflects the significant opportunities available to Nicox in light of the recent acquisition of Aciex and positive Phase 3 results for Vesneo.
Nicox has completed four acquisitions in the last 12 months in the ophthalmic space, including well-established businesses in France and Italy and the recently-completed acquisition of Aciex. The first product from this pipeline, AC-170 for allergic conjunctivitis, is expected to launch in the U.S. in 2016, pending U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Nicox is planning to pursue its efforts to secure commercial rights to further therapeutic products both for the European and for the U.S. markets, through additional in-licensing and acquisition agreements.
In addition, the glaucoma candidate Vesneo (latanoprostene bunod), invented using Nicox’s proprietary nitric oxide-donating R&D platform and in development under license by the Valeant division Bausch + Lomb, is also expected to be launched in 2016, pending FDA approval, with potential peak global sales estimated by Valeant at over $1 billion. Valeant and Nicox recently announced positive Phase 3 results for this compound.