Sun Pharma to buy US-based eye care firm InSite
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India's top drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd has agreed to acquire US-based eye care company InSite Vision Inc in a deal worth $48 million, plus related debt and other transaction costs, according to a statement.

An indirect subsidiary of Sun Pharmaceutical has entered into an agreement and plan of merger with InSite Vision under which it will start a tender offer for all of the issued and outstanding common stock of InSite Vision at a price of $0.35 per share in cash, a 30 per cent premium to the implied price per share, it said.

InSite Vision focuses on developing specialty ophthalmic products, including three late stage programmes. Sun Pharma is establishing a branded ophthalmic business in the US.

"This potential acquisition is part of our overall objective of transitioning to a specialty company. Besides dermatology, we have identified ophthalmics as one of the key segments for establishing our branded presence in the US,” Sun Pharma North American business CEO Kal Sundaram said.

The latest deal adds to another transaction in June 2015 when Sun Pharma signed an in-licensing agreement of Xelpros (Latanoprost BAK-free eye drops). This gave Sun Pharma access to four late-stage branded ophthalmic products in the US.

"The potential addition of the InSite Vision portfolio serves as a significant step towards enhancing our branded specialty pipeline in the ophthalmic segment," vice-president and head of Sun Pharma's US Ophthalmic Business, Jerry St Peter, said.

InSite Vision has developed DuraSite and DuraSite2, the drug delivery platforms that are capable of extending the duration of drug retention, thus resulting in lower dosing frequency and potentially enhanced efficacy.

It had developed a pipeline of late-stage clinical candidates and recently filed a New Drug Application (NDA) with the US FDA for BromSite for treatment of inflammation and prevention of pain associated with cataract surgery, the statement added.

For the six-month period ended June 30, 2015, InSite Vision had registered revenues of $3.8 million, an EBITDA loss of $6.4 million and a net loss of $7.5 million.

The deal has already received approvals from the board of directors of both Sun Pharma subsidiary, and InSite Vision, and is now subject to InSite Vision’s shareholders and other customary closing conditions.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

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