Nicox Partner Ocumension Completes Successful Hong Kong IPO

Source: Nicox

Nicox SA’s partner Ocumension Therapeutics had a successful IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and provided an update on the programs in the collaboration.

Ocumension Therapeutics began trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on July 10, 2020 after an IPO raising HK $1,424 (~US $184) million at a valuation of approximately HK $8,430 (~US $1,090) million on the first day of trading.  Nicox and Ocumension have collaborations on NCX 470 and Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution), 0.24%, in the Chinese and certain Southeast Asian markets, and on NCX 4251 in the Chinese market. NCX 470 and Zerviate have been identified by Ocumension as key drug candidates, among four in total.

“Ocumension is a key partner for Nicox as we are convinced that the Chinese market offers significant future revenue potential for our partnered products. Ocumension’s successful IPO demonstrates the strong interest by investors in the potential value of their pipeline, including Nicox’s NCX 470 and Zerviate,” Michele Garufi, Chairman and CEO of Nicox, said in a company news release. “We are working very closely with the outstanding Ocumension team on both of these programs, and in the future on NCX 4251, and we believe they are well positioned to maximize the value of our assets in the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets.”

Update on Programs in the Nicox-Ocumension Collaboration

NCX 470, Nicox’s lead product candidate, a novel, second-generation nitric oxide (NO)-donating bimatoprost analog: Mont Blanc, the first phase 3 clinical trial of NCX 470 for lowering of intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, was initiated on June 1m 2020. It is being conducted principally in clinical sites in the U.S. and will include a small number of Chinese clinical sites.  A second phase 3 trial, Denali, jointly managed and equally funded by Nicox and Ocumension, is expected to start in Q4 2020. It will include clinical sites in both the U.S. and China.  The two trials together are expected to be sufficient for filing NDAs in both the U.S. and China.

  • Zerviate, the first and only eye drop formulation of cetirizine for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis: A phase 3 clinical trial for approval in China, to be conducted and financed by Ocumension, is expected to start by Q4 2020. Zerviate is the first novel, topical prescription-only treatment for allergic conjunctivitis in over 10 years and is being marketed in the U.S. by partner Eyevance. It is licensed to Samil in South Korea.
  • NCX 4251, a novel, patented, ophthalmic suspension of fluticasone propionate nanocrystals: Following an FDA meeting earlier this year, Nicox is planning a phase 2b clinical trial which will include both blepharitis and dry eye endpoints with the option of declaring either acute exacerbations of blepharitis or dry eye endpoints as the primary outcome. Ocumension expects to initiate a Chinese phase 2 clinical trial in blepharitis in Q2 2021 and a phase 3 clinical trial in Q4 2022.

Nicox may potentially receive over $18 million in development and sales milestones for Zerviate and NCX 4251, and is eligible to receive tiered royalties on Ocumension’s sales of NCX 470, Zerviate and NCX 4251. Nicox and Ocumension expanded their collaboration on NCX 470 in March 2020 when Ocumension paid Nicox €15 million upfront in place of the milestones in the original agreement, gained additional rights to NCX 470 for Korea and South East Asia and agreed to pay 50% of the costs of the second phase 3 clinical trial of NCX 470 in glaucoma (‘Denali’).

Nicox continues to closely watch the spread of COVID-19 and its impact around the world. The company does not currently anticipate delays to our clinical timelines and will provide updates in due course if there is an impact on development projects and timelines.



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