Acuity, Froptix, eXegenics sign merger

Miami-Acuity Pharmaceuticals, Froptix Corp., and eXegenics Inc. have inked a merger agreement to unite the three companies under one corporation to be named Opko Corp. The new company will be headquartered in Miami.

Miami-Acuity Pharmaceuticals, Froptix Corp., and eXegenics Inc. have inked a merger agreement to unite the three companies under one corporation to be named Opko Corp. The new company will be headquartered in Miami.

Acuity’s products include the gene-silencing agent bevasiranib (formerly Cand5), which successfully has completed phase II clinical trials for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema; a product for conjunctivitis in phase I clinical development; and a line-up of preclinical treatments for serious ophthalmic conditions. Froptix has numerous molecules in development to treat dry AMD and other ophthalmic diseases. The new company also plans to create diagnostic products.

The Frost Group, a private equity firm, plans to loan the new company $12 million. Part of this credit line will finance the transition and part, along with $16 million in cash held by eXegenics, will finance other initiatives, including the company’s planned phase III trial of bevasiranib as an ongoing therapy for wet AMD in combination with ranibizumab injection (Lucentis, Genentech).