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French company, NicOx builds capability in developing global ophthalmics business

NicOx (NYSE Euronext Paris: COX), a French pharmaceutical company based in Sophia Antipolis, has announced the purchase of an 11.8% equity stake in the Cambridge, UK based ophthalmic specialist company, Altacor. The £2M(sterling) cash transaction provides NicOx with an exclusive option, up until May 31st, 2012, to acquire the remaining shares in Altacor for an additional £9M. If the full purchase is completed the company may be eligible for milestone payments with an estimated value of £8.5M. Altacor promotes the prescription products Clinitas and Clinitas gel for dry eye conditions and has a pipeline of products for ocular surface disease, ocular infection and glaucoma, including “ALT-005”, an ophthalmic surgical antiseptic solution currently in a phase III trial.