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PSivida acquires eye drug maker; rebrands, changes name

PSivida Corp. acquired privately held specialist biopharma Icon Bioscience Inc., and will rebrand, change name and start trading on the Nasdaq as EyePoint Pharmaceuticals Inc. from April 2.

Icon Bioscience develops eye products that can be implanted or administered within the eye. Its lead product Dexycu, or dexamethasone intraocular suspension 9%, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Feb. 9 to treat inflammation associated with cataract surgery, the press release said. It uses Icon's Verisome drug-delivery platform which allows for a single injection to releases the product over time.

To finance the acquisition and prepare for commercial launches of products, including Dexycu, PSivida signed deals of about $60.5 million with venture capital and private equity firm EW Healthcare Partners and a third party investor. In addition, niche lender SWK Holdings Corp. has agreed to provide PSivida with up to $20 million in a debt facility.

In connection with the financing, Ron Eastman, a managing director with EW Healthcare Partners, will immediately join PSivida's board of directors.

"Our rebranding and name change reflect the tremendous progress we've made ... Our goal is to establish EyePoint Pharmaceuticals as a leader in developing and launching innovative ophthalmic products in indications with high unmet medical need to improve the lives of patients with serious eye disorders. We are pleased to partner with EW and SWK to assure that we have not only the funding to achieve our goals, but also the deep strategic and healthcare domain expertise to ensure our ability to execute on our strategy," said Nancy Lurker, CEO PSivida.

In addition, Watertown, Mass.-based PSivida said due to a significant decrease in the proportion of its common stock held by Australian shareholders, low trading activity and the costs of maintaining a listing, it wants to delist from the Australian Securities Exchange.

EyePoint Pharmaceuticals will trade under the new Nasdaq ticker symbol EYPT, while the company's former ticker symbol PSDV will remain effective through the market close on March 29.

MTS Health Partners LP served as PSivida's financial adviser in connection with the deal and its affiliate, MTS Securities LLC, provided its board of directors with a fairness opinion.

Torreya Partners served as the adviser to PSivida on the debt financing. Hogan Lovells US LLP acted as PSivida's legal adviser and Danforth Advisors LLC acted as PSivida's corporate finance adviser.