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Aldeyra acquires Helio Vision and PVR drug

Aldeyra Therapeutics has acquired Helio Vision, in a US$12.5 million (AU$17.25 m) deal that sees the biotechnology giant assume control of a retinal disease drug that could prove to be the first approved product of its kind.

The takeover, which was sealed in January, adds ADX-2191 (intravitreal methotrexate) to Aldeyra’s drug pipeline. The drug is a Phase 3-ready product candidate for proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) – a serious sight-threatening condition that affects up to 10% of patients undergoing retinal detachment surgery, and 50% or more of patients undergoing retina surgery following open globe injury.

With PVR currently having no approved treatment, Aldeyra holds great promise for ADX-2191, which has received Orphan Drug Designation from the US Food and Drug Administration.

“The acquisition of Helio Vision is highly complementary to Aldeyra’s focus on novel therapeutic approaches for immune-mediated diseases and broadens our late-stage pipeline,” Aldeyra president and CEO Dr Todd Brady said.

“Helio Vision’s unique approach is at the cross-hairs of our areas of expertise, leveraging an immunological mechanism that diminishes inflammation and cell proliferation, an orphan indication addressing a significant unmet medical need, the potential applicability to a variety of other diseases, and a Phase 3-ready retinal program that represents another important catalyst in our development pipeline.”

Under terms of the agreement, Aldeyra has acquired Helio Vision for an upfront payment of approximately US$10 million (AU$13.8 m) in common stock, subject to a six-month lock-up period, and an additional US$2.5 million (AU$3.25 m) payment in common stock two years from the date of closing.

Helio Vision shareholders will be eligible to receive up to an additional US$12.5 million (AU$17.25 m) in Aldeyra stock upon achievement of certain regulatory milestones. Dr Dean Eliott and the other co-founders of Helio Vision will continue to work with Aldeyra as consultants.

“We are thrilled to be working with Aldeyra to develop a novel treatment approach for PVR, a debilitating disease for which there is no approved therapy,” Mr Josef von Rickenbach, co-founder, president and CEO of Helio Vision, said.

“Aldeyra’s proven track record of development success across a number of clinical programs bodes well for the advancement of ADX-2191.”

ADX-2191 was discovered by Dr Eliott, the Stelios Evangelos Gragoudas Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Retina Service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI). ADX- 2191 was co-developed with Dr Tomasz Stryjewski, a retinal surgeon at MEEI.

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