Nicox S.A., an international ophthalmic company whose United States operations are based in Fort Worth, will acquire Aciex Therapeutics Inc., a private ophthalmic development pharmaceutical company in Boston, on a cash-free, debt-free basis through a reverse triangular merger. Under terms of the proposed acquisition, Aciex shareholders will receive an upfront payment of $65 million in the form of 20,627,024 newly issued Nicox shares, plus contingent value rights giving right to shares for a potential additional value of up to $55 million.
The transaction will broaden and strengthen Nicox’s therapeutic development pipeline, which would include two phase 3 candidates, one being developed by Nicox’s partner Bausch + Lomb. Aciex brings a near-term pipeline of ophthalmic therapeutic product candidates, including one for allergic conjunctivitis. Aciex was founded in 2007 with technology licensed from Afferent Therapeutics LLC, a spin-out from Ora Inc.
The completion of the acquisition is subject to the approval of Nicox’s shareholders and other customary conditions. Nicox was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in France, with research capabilities in Italy, a growing commercial infrastructure in North America and in the major European markets, and an expanding international presence through partners. The company had a market cap of $271 million as of Feb. 28, 2014, and cash position of $86.1 million as of Sept. 30, 2013. Nicox employs about 134 people worldwide. Nicox S.A. is listed on Euronext Paris.
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