NicOx raising $149M to back blockbuster launch

The FDA has accepted NicOx's application for its anti-inflammatory naproxcinod, setting the stage for the potential 2010 launch of a likely blockbuster while attracting significant financial support from the French government, which is contributing to a $149 million fundraising effort.

France is investing 25 million euros in Paris-based NicOx through a new fund set up to assist key industries during the financial crisis. And with NicOx's new drug slated to go head-to-head with Pfizer's blockbuster Celebrex, the French developer looks like a good bet right now. An injection of fresh funds will also help the developer through a round of talks with potential U.S. partners for the drug. Look for a player with a sizeable marketing arm that can capitalize on a therapy with broad market potential.

"Thanks to these additional financial resources, NicOx will be able to significantly advance the launch preparations for naproxcinod, including the optimization of the commercial supply chain," Chief Executive Michele Garufi said in a statement. A European marketing application is expected soon.

- here's the NicOx release on the filing
- here's the Reuters story