- Nicox acquires extension of rights to market Sjö™ to all healthcare practitioners in North America for early detection of Sjögren’s syndrome
- Wider availability and awareness expected to accelerate the identification and management of undiagnosed patients
Sophia Antipolis, France.
Nicox S.A. (NYSE Euronext Paris: COX), the international ophthalmic company, today announced that it has acquired the extension of the rights to market Sjö™, an advanced diagnostic panel for early detection of Sjögren’s syndrome, to all healthcare practitioners in North America. This builds on the June 2013 agreement with Immco Diagnostics Inc. to promote Sjö™ to eye care specialists in the U.S, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Sjö™ was launched by Nicox’s subsidiary, Nicox Inc., in select US markets in November 2013, with a full national roll out of the product now underway.
Jerry St. Peter, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Nicox Inc., commented: “Sjögren’s syndrome is a common, debilitating and underdiagnosed autoimmune condition which can manifest itself through a wide range of symptoms. Since our launch to eye care professionals, the adoption of Sjö™ has been strong. With dry eye being one of the earliest and hallmark symptoms of the disease, ophthalmologists and optometrists will remain at the forefront of detecting these patients. By using our existing team to expand awareness beyond eye care to those medical practitioners who may also see patients with Sjögren’s, we believe Sjö™ can aid in the early diagnosis of patients with the disease, enabling them to receive intervention to minimize the potential of further complications.”
“Nicox has already started to impact the awareness of Sjögren’s syndrome among eye care specialists. Broadening their reach to educate other medical specialties to adopt Sjö™ in their practices is a logical step and one which we believe will help to identify more patients who suffer from the serious effects of the disease but remain undiagnosed,” added Bill Maggio, President and CEO of Immco Diagnostics.
Sjögren’s syndrome is among the most common and underdiagnosed autoimmune diseases. It can lead to significant morbidity, diminished gland performance and atrophy. It causes patients’ immune cells to attack moisture-producing glands and dry eye is one of the early symptoms. Eye care practitioners are therefore in a unique position to identify Sjögren’s syndrome. However, many other medical specialties frequently deal with patients suffering from Sjögren’s syndrome, including rheumatologists, oral care specialists, obstetricians, gynecologists and primary care physicians. Nicox will leverage its existing marketing platform to raise awareness of Sjögren’s syndrome and the proprietary test Sjö™ among such practitioners. It does not plan to build additional teams to target these groups.
“The expanded promotion of Sjö™ into specialties like Rheumatology may help us identify the millions of currently undiagnosed Sjögren’s syndrome patients. It also will help connect eye care specialists to other healthcare providers and maximize the continuum of care for identified patients,” said Dr. Fred Vivino, Chief, Rheumatology, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Director, Penn Sjogren’s Syndrome Center, and Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
Under the terms of the expanded agreement announced today, Nicox will have exclusive rights to promote Sjö™ to all healthcare practitioners in North America. Nicox will be responsible for all marketing activities using its existing team, while Immco will carry out the test in its CLIA-approved laboratory in Buffalo, NY, and be responsible for regulatory activities and reimbursement. The financial terms for Nicox remain unchanged (see Nicox press release dated June 19, 2013).
For more information on Sjö™, please visit www.mynicox.com/sjo.