Durham-based Aerie Pharma is sold to global eye care giant in deal worth $770M

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 Aerie Pharmaceuticals is being sold to eye care giant Alcon in a deal worth some $770 million, the companies announced late Monday night.

Alcon (SIX/NYSE: ALC) is a 75-year-old company with some 24,000 employees and offers a wide variety of eye health solutions.

“We are excited to be joining Alcon, a recognized leader in eye care. I am so proud of the Aerie team and the innovation we’ve pioneered,” said Raj Kannan, Aerie’s CEO, in a statement. “Alcon is the right strategic and financial partner to maximize the potential of Aerie’s commercial franchise and our growing portfolio of pipeline assets. Alcon’s global infrastructure, financial resources, and commercial capabilities will accelerate the standard of care by helping more patients have access to Aerie’s innovative products. I am confident that this combination with Alcon is in the best interest of patients and our shareholders.”

Alcon has agreed to pay $15.25 for each share of Aerie (Nasdaq: AERI) stock – a 37% premium over its closing price of just over $11 on Monday.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

The company is acquiring Aerie which has two eyecare products on the market and another in stage three clinical trial.

“This transaction affirms Alcon’s commitment to the ophthalmic pharmaceutical space and is expected to add broader pharmaceutical R&D capabilities to Alcon’s existing commercial expertise, maximizing the value of its diversified portfolio,” Alcon said in a statement.

It has recently acquired three other products, including one from Novartis.

“Alcon is passionate about innovative treatments in eye care, especially in core disorders such as glaucoma and dry eye, which have significant patient impact,” said David Endicott, CEO of Alcon. “We have a 75-year history focused specifically on the eye and bring established expertise in development and commercial execution. Aerie is a natural fit with on-market and pipeline products, and R&D capabilities that offer the infrastructure needed to expand our ophthalmic pharmaceutical presence. As we continue to broaden our portfolio across glaucoma, retina and ocular surface disease, we are excited to help even more patients see brilliantly.”

Aerie has more than 350 employees with operations in Durham and New Jersey.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire