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Oculis SA and EBAC join to drive ophthalmology innovation –

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Oculis SA, a global biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to save sight and improve eye care with breakthrough innovations, has reviewed over 100 European biotech companies and is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), European Biotech Acquisition Corp (EBAC). .

The definitive version announced business combination agreement It is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023 in Lausanne, Switzerland and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Formation of a Nasdaq-listed biopharmaceutical company under the name of ‘Oculis Holding SA’, establishing Oculis as the world’s leading ophthalmic biopharmaceutical, an area of ​​critical medical need impacting a growing patient population We provide product candidates corresponding to This includes products for neuroretinal indications such as diabetic macular edema (DME), dry eye disease (DED) and glaucoma.

In fact, the net proceeds are expected to support an advanced clinical pipeline of such product candidates, including the first topical eye drop product (OCS-01) to treat the retina with DME (OCS-01). 01) are potential catalysts of value that may include: A topical anti-TNF phase 2b (OCS-02) for the treatment of DED and uveitis, and an OCS-05 proof-of-concept trial in acute optic neuritis, the first neuroprotective agent for neuroretinal diseases (such as glaucoma).

OCS-01 is a non-invasive approach, but current treatments require intraocular injection. It combines dexamethasone, an approved active ingredient that has been shown to be effective and safe in treating DME, with Oculis’ new formulation Optieach technology that facilitates access of the active ingredient to the back of the eye. It’s a thing.

Local therapies like OCS-01 improve patient comfort, safety, accessibility and cost, and complement current approaches by adding the option of individualized dosing. OCS-01 is currently in Phase 3 development in the US for the treatment of inflammation and pain after cataract surgery. If approved, it could be his first once-daily steroid for this indication.

The combination of Oculis SA and EBAC is presumed to have trade after trade. Corporate value Approximately $220 million with a cash balance of over $200 million. This includes gross PIPE and private investment income, cash held in EBAC trusts, before deduction of expected transaction costs. Leading institutional investors include Earlybird and Novartis Venture Fund, with funds managed by Tekla Capital Management LLC, VI Partners and others.

Oculis MD and CEO Riad Sherif said: This transaction accelerates our mission to advance a pipeline of highly differentiated product candidates for patients and physicians. ”

EBAC CEO Eduardo Bravo added: Oculis represents what we intend to invest in, with superior innovation, a well-thought-out strategy and an experienced management team to bring promising treatments to market for patients suffering from eye diseases. A typical example. ”

Meanwhile, OCS-05, a serum glucocorticoid kinase (SGK-2) activator, is undergoing clinical trials in Europe. It is a potential treatment for acute optic neuritis (AON), a rare disease with high unmet need. Oculis plans to evaluate his OCS-05 to treat other pervasive ophthalmic neuropathological disorders, including geographic atrophy, neuropathic keratitis and glaucoma.

Other developments in the ophthalmology space this year include the Alcon/Aerie deal, an estimated $770 million acquisition, whose strategy is to expand into the ophthalmic eye drop segment.

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