Aldeyra boosts eye disease pipeline with $10M Helio Vision buy

In addition to its $10 million upfront payment, Aldeyra will hand over another $2.5 million in common shares two years after the deal closes. (Pixabay/rawpixel)

Aldeyra Therapeutics is acquiring Helio Vision for $10 million upfront, adding a retinal disease drug to its pipeline. The candidate, developed for the treatment of proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), should head into the clinic this year with data to come in 2020.

In addition to Aldeyra’s $10 million upfront payment, the Lexington, Massachusetts-based biotech will hand over another $2.5 million in common shares two years after the deal closes, according to a statement. And Helio shareholders stand to receive up to $12.5 million more in Aldeyra stock when it hits its regulatory milestones.

Helio’s ADX-2191 (intravitreal methotrexate) joins a pipeline that includes treatments for mesothelioma and ovarian cancer as well as various eye diseases, such as dry eye disease, allergic conjunctivitis, noninfectious anterior uveitis, retinal disease and ocular inflammation. It is designed to treat PVR, a serious inflammatory condition that affects patients undergoing surgery for retinal detachment or retina surgery following open globe injury. PVR can lead to permanent vision loss and has no approved treatment.

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"The acquisition of Helio Vision is highly complementary to Aldeyra's focus on novel therapeutic approaches for immune-mediated diseases and broadens our late-stage pipeline," said Aldeyra CEO Todd Brady, M.D., Ph.D., in the statement. "Helio Vision's unique approach is at the cross-hairs of our areas of expertise, leveraging an immunological mechanism that diminishes inflammation and cell proliferation, an orphan indication addressing a significant unmet medical need, the potential applicability to a variety of other diseases, and a phase 3-ready retinal program that represents another important catalyst in our development pipeline."

The acquisition comes four months after Aldeyra reported positive phase 2 data for its reproxalap in dry eye disease. Reproxalap, also known as ADX-102, is designed to reduce inflammation by lowering aldehyde levels. It improved ocular dryness and discomfort in the 300-patient study, setting Aldeyra up to push it into phase 3 in 2019.