Nicox 1H 2016 Financial Update
"Following the recently completed transaction with GHO Capital involving our European and International commercial assets, we are now well positioned to refocus our resources on our promising R&D pipeline as we await FDA approval decisions for latanoprostene bunod and AC-170," commented Michele Garufi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nicox. "This transaction allows us to reduce our infrastructure costs by €6 million (approximately 66%) and, together with the recent financing of €18 million, to accelerate the development of our proprietary pipeline assets, including obtaining clinical proof-of-concept data for NCX 4251 and NCX 470 by the end of 2018."
Operational highlights for the six months to June 30, 2016 and post-reporting period
- In August 2016, Nicox completed the transfer of its European and International commercial operations to a new pan-European ophthalmic specialty pharmaceutical company led by GHO Capital. The transaction was valued at up to €26 million and the Company received a €9 million upfront cash payment upon closing of the transaction and a minority stake in the new company.
- In July 2016, Nicox completed a financing through a reserved capital increase of ordinary shares of the Company with a specific category of investors. Gross proceeds from the financing were €18 million.
- On July 21, 2016, latanoprostene bunod licensee Bausch + Lomb (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.) announced its receipt of a Complete Response Letter (CRL) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the New Drug Application (NDA) for the use of latanoprostene bunod for the treatment of glaucoma. The CRL cited concerns pertaining to a Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) inspection at Bausch + Lomb's manufacturing facility in Tampa, Florida. The FDA's letter did not identify any efficacy or safety concerns with respect to the latanoprostene bunod NDA or additional clinical trials needed for the approval of the NDA. Bausch + Lomb is currently working with the FDA to resolve and address the CGMP concerns. Latanoprostene bunod has the potential to generate significant revenue for Nicox through milestones (up to $132.5 million net, mainly on commercial sales targets) and royalties (potential net tiered royalties on sales from 6% to 11%).
- In June, Nicox announced that the U.S. FDA had accepted the Company's NDA for AC-170, a novel, proprietary eye drop formulation of cetirizine, targeting the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. The FDA also granted Priority Review and assigned a Prescription Drug User Fee (PDUFA) goal date of October 18, 2016 (contingent upon the information and data provided by Nicox during the review period). Approval of the AC-170 NDA prior to December 1st, 2016 will trigger a milestone payment of $35 million in Nicox shares to former Aciex shareholders or $10 million in Nicox shares if approval of the NDA is received after this date. Nicox is currently in partnering discussions in the United States for this program.
- Philippe Masquida, EVP, Managing Director European & International Operations, will be leaving the company at the end of September 2016, following the successful completion of the transfer of the European and International commercial operations. Nicox sincerely thanks Philippe for his years of service and his significant contributions to the commercial business.
First-half financial summary
The Group's revenues have been retreated following reclassification of the European commercial business as Discontinued Operations. For information, the European and International product sales of the operations transferred to VISUfarma BV, the new Group led by GHO Capital, were €7.1 million over the first half of 2016, an increase of 50% compared to the same period in 2015.
Excluding Discontinued Operations the operating expenses for the period were €12.0 million compared to €8.8 million for the six months to June 2015. The increase in operating expenses over the period is mainly explained by costs related to the submission of the AC-170 NDA.
Excluding the Discontinued Operations, the Group recorded a net loss of €12.3 million as of June 2016, compared to a net loss of €10.1 million at the same date in 2015.
The Group had cash, cash equivalents and financial instruments of €12.3 million as of June 30, 2016, compared to €29 million on December 31, 2015; however, considering the financing in July of this year of €18 million gross and the €8.9 million cash payment following the transfer of the European commercial operations to VISUfarma BV, our unaudited cash, cash equivalents and financial instruments at August 31, 2016 are estimated at €34.1 million.Nicox (Bloomberg: COX:FP, Reuters: NCOX.PA) is an international R&D company focused on the ophthalmic market.