Viatris making ophthalmology push with acquisition of Oyster Point Pharma

Viatris intends to acquire Oyster Point Pharma as the foundation of its new ophthalmology franchise, recognizing its uniquely talented team, the strength of Tyrvaya nasal spray and its ophthalmology pipeline.

Oyster Point Pharma Inc. today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which Viatris Inc. will acquire the company.

According to a news release, Viatris intends to acquire Oyster Point Pharma as the foundation of its new ophthalmology franchise, recognizing its uniquely talented team, the strength of varenicline solution (Tyrvaya) nasal spray and Oyster Point Pharma’s pipeline.

The news release also outlined terms of the deal, under which Viatris will issue a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Oyster Point Pharma for $11 per share in cash at closing, plus a contingent value right (CVR) for a potential cash payment of up to $2 per share upon achievement of specified performance targets by Oyster Point Pharma for full year 2022.

The transaction was unanimously approved by the Oyster Point Pharma Board of Directors.

“Oyster Point Pharma brings to Viatris the strength of Tyrvaya nasal spray, the first and only FDA-approved nasal spray for dry eye in the U.S., an eye care focused pipeline, and a very experienced team that possesses extensive knowledge of the ophthalmology space from a clinical, medical, regulatory and commercial perspective,” Michael Goettler, CEO of Viatris, said in a statement. “Together, we believe we are setting the foundation for the next global ophthalmology leader, accelerating efforts to address the unmet needs of patients with ophthalmic disease and the eye care professionals who treat them, and positioning Viatris for growth.”

Jeffrey Nau, PhD, MMS, president and CEO of Oyster Point Pharma, noted in the news release that the company recognizes the opportunities that lie ahead.

“Through our efforts to license our innovations globally, we recognized that Viatris would be an optimal partner with its Global Healthcare Gateway,” he said in the release. “With Viatris’ global capabilities and commitment to ophthalmology, we expect to be able to expand Tyrvaya’s impact on the dry eye landscape and accelerate our exciting pipeline. With our combined sector expertise, innovation, scale, pipeline and global commercial reach, we expect to build a world-class ophthalmology business to meaningfully shape the future of eye care, to the benefit of patients.”

According to Viatris Executive Chairman Richard J. Coury, two years after its debut as Viatris, the company is on target to achieve its business goals.

After seven straight quarters of delivering strong results, we are well on our way to completing all Phase 1 commitments and can now turn our focus to setting up for Phase 2 - 2024 and beyond,’ he said. “We are pleased to announce this morning our agreements to acquire two high-quality businesses to form a new ophthalmology franchise within Viatris. Oyster Point, under the leadership of Dr. Jeff Nau, has a well-respected reputation within the ophthalmology space, and we look forward to having Jeff join the Viatris management team as leader of our ophthalmology franchise following the closing of the transactions.”

In November 2021, Oyster Point Pharma launched varenicline solution (Tyrvaya), the first and only FDA-approved nasal spray for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. In addition, Oyster Point Pharma has a growing pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical programs aimed at delivering transformative innovation for ocular surface diseases. In addition to varenicline solution, Oyster Point Pharma has three drug candidates in its pipeline: two investigational therapies for neurotrophic keratopathy, a severe degenerative condition affecting the nerves of the cornea, and another for vernal/atopic keratoconjunctivitis, a severe allergic condition of the eyes.

Transaction terms and financing

According to the news release, under the terms of the agreement, Viatris will initiate a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Oyster Point Pharma’s common stock at a price of $11 per share in cash at closing, plus a contingent value right (CVR) representing the right to receive a potential cash payment of up to $2 per share. The amount (if any) payable under the CVR will be based on the following performance targets to be achieved by Oyster Point Pharma for full year 2022:

  • An additional $1.00 per share in cash if Oyster Point Pharma generates equal to or greater than $21.6 million of net product revenues and 131,822 total prescriptions of TYRVAYA; or
  • An additional $2.00 per share in cash if Oyster Point Pharma generates equal to or greater than $24.0 million of net revenue and 146,469 total prescriptions of Tyrvaya.

The news release indicated that the transaction is subject to typical closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, and the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Oyster Point Pharma’s common stock. Oyster Point Pharma stockholders holding approximately 46% of Oyster Point Pharma’s common stock have entered into a tender and support agreement with Viatris, pursuant to which such stockholders have agreed, among other things, to tender 100% of their shares of Oyster Point Pharma’s common stock in the tender offer, subject to the terms and conditions of such agreement.

According to the news release, following the closing of the tender offer, Viatris will acquire all remaining shares of Oyster Point Pharma’s common stock that are not tendered into the tender offer through a second-step merger at the same price of $11 per share, plus a CVR representing the right to receive up to $2 per share.

The transaction is anticipated to close during the first quarter of 2023.

Viatris also expects to acquire Famy Life Sciences, which has a complementary ophthalmology portfolio.

According to a news release, Viatris anticipates these acquisitions have the potential to add at least $1 billion in sales by 2028.

Moreover, according to a news release, the two acquisitions have an aggregate purchase price of approximately $700 million to $750 million which Viatris expects to fund with cash on hand.