- Transaction to Create a Nasdaq-listed Biopharmaceutical Company Focused on Advancing Ocuphire’s Late-Stage Clinical Pipeline of Ophthalmic Drug Candidates
- $21.15 Million Investment Committed by Institutional Healthcare and Accredited Investors
Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NasdaqCM: REXN) and Ocuphire Pharma, Inc., a privately-held clinical-stage ophthalmic biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapies for the treatment of eye disorders, today announced the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Ocuphire will merge with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rexahn in an all-stock transaction. Following closing, which is expected to occur in the second half of 2020, the combined company will change its name to Ocuphire Pharma, Inc. and is expected to trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the ticker symbol “OCUP.” The combined company will focus on the advancement of its pipeline of ophthalmic drug candidates.
Certain institutional healthcare and other accredited investors, including certain Ocuphire directors and executives, have also committed to invest $21.15 million in a private placement that will close immediately prior to the closing of the merger, assuming the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions. Investors in this pre-merger financing will receive Ocuphire common stock prior to closing, which will convert into Rexahn common stock upon closing of the merger. Additionally, following the closing of the merger, Rexahn will issue to these investors warrants to purchase shares of Rexahn common stock and, potentially, additional shares of Rexahn common stock.
“After completing a comprehensive review of multiple strategic alternatives, we determined that the proposed merger with Ocuphire would provide the best opportunity for Rexahn shareholders moving forward,” said Douglas J. Swirsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rexahn. “The decision by our management and board to choose Ocuphire to be our merger partner will allow our shareholders to participate in a dynamic company with a robust pipeline, backed by a sizeable commitment from institutional investors to continue the development of multiple drug candidates in a growing ophthalmic market.”
Ocuphire has built a pipeline of multiple product candidates with demonstrated clinical activity that target high value markets. Its lead product candidate, Nyxol® Eye Drops (“Nyxol”), is a once-daily eye drop formulation of phentolamine mesylate designed to reduce pupil diameter and improve visual acuity. Nyxol is being developed to treat dim light or night vision disturbances, pharmacologically-induced mydriasis, and presbyopia. Ocuphire’s second product candidate, APX3330, is a twice-a-day oral tablet, designed to target multiple pathways relevant to retinal diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. Ocuphire plans to initiate two Phase 3 registration trials and two Phase 2 trials across four indications in the second half of 2020, expecting top-line results to read out as early as the first quarter of 2021 and throughout the remainder of 2021.
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“This merger is transformative for Ocuphire as we look to advance our late-clinical stage small molecule ophthalmic pipeline, with multiple Phase 3 and Phase 2 clinical data catalysts expected in 2021” said Mina Sooch, President and CEO of Ocuphire. “We believe the target product profiles of our two product candidates, Nyxol and APX3330, collectively studied in 18 clinical trials and each with large market potentials, creates an opportunity for Ocuphire to become a leading ophthalmic company focused on improving vision and clarity.”