Sophia Antipolis, France
Nicox SA (Euronext Paris: FR0013018124, COX), an international ophthalmology company, and Ocumension Therapeutics today announced they have entered into an exclusive license agreement for the development and commercialization of Nicox’s product ZERVIATETM (cetirizine ophthalmic solution), 0.24% for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis for a territory comprising mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Nicox and Ocumension recently also entered into a collaboration for the development and commercialization of NCX 470 for patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension, in the same territory. Ocumension Therapeutics is an ophthalmology company funded by 6 Dimensions Capital, one of the leading global healthcare investment funds, formed by the merger of Wuxi Healthcare Ventures and Frontline BioVentures.
Ocumension will receive exclusive rights for the agreed territory to develop and commercialize ZERVIATE. Under the terms of the agreement, Nicox may potentially receive development and sales milestones of up €17 million together with royalties of between 5% and 9% on sales of ZERVIATE.
“Following our collaboration on NCX 470, Ocumension was the obvious choice for us to partner with for ZERVIATE in this region.” said Gavin Spencer, Chief Business Officer of Nicox. “Nicox has built a track record of successful partnerships, and we are actively engaged in discussions to further maximize the value of our commercial and development assets outside of the U.S. and the EU markets. We look forward to announcing more international collaborations for ZERVIATE in the coming months.”
“ZERVIATE brings Ocumension an additional late stage opportunity and expands our therapeutic area coverage into ocular allergy,” said Ye Liu, Chief Executive Officer of Ocumension. “We very much appreciate the collaboration with the Nicox team, and this deal further strengthens our relationship with one of the leading R&D companies in the ophthalmology space.”
Ocumension is expected to have to conduct additional clinical studies for the regulatory approval of ZERVIATE in the Chinese market. All development activities will be overseen by a Joint Development Committee comprising representatives of both companies, with Ocumension responsible for undertaking all the activities at its own cost.
ZERVIATE (cetirizine ophthalmic solution), 0.24%, previously AC-170, is the first and only topical ocular formulation of the antihistamine cetirizine for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. ZERVIATE is a novel formulation of cetirizine, the active ingredient in ZYRTEC®, developed and approved for the first time for topical application in the eye. Cetirizine is a second-generation antihistamine (H1 receptor antagonist) that binds competitively to histamine receptor sites.Cetirizine, in approved oral formulations, has a well-characterized systemic efficacy and safety profile with worldwide exposure resulting from 20 years of oral use.
ZERVIATE is approved for commercialization in the U.S. where its commercial launch is planned in summer 2019 by Eyevance Pharmaceuticals LLC, our exclusive U.S. licensee.
About Allergic Conjunctivitis
Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when an allergic reaction causes conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin layer of tissue that lines the outside of the white surface of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids. It may affect one or both eyes. The signs and symptoms may include eye redness, excessive watering, itchy burning eyes, discharge, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light. It is estimated that more than 75 million people suffer from allergic conjunctivitis in the U.S. and the estimated prevalence of allergic conjunctivitis may be between 15% and 40%.