Nicox announces changes to its Board of Directors

| Source: NICOX

SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS, France, Aug. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nicox S.A. (NYSE Euronext Paris: COX), the international ophthalmic company, today announces the co-option of Adrienne Graves and Luzi von Bidder to its Board of Directors. Mrs Graves and Mr von Bidder will replace Vaughn Kailian, who has been a member of the Board since 2001, and Vince Anido.

Vaughn Kailian has informed Nicox of his decision to step down from the Board of Directors with effect from August 11, 2014, for personal reasons which make it difficult for him to continue his commitment to Nicox. Vince Anido, who joined the Board in June 2013, has decided to step down from Nicox's Board due to his increasing responsibilities at Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc., with effect from August 6, 2014.

"Although we fully understand the reasons for their decision, it is with great regret that we are announcing the departure of Vaughn Kailian and Vince Anido from our Board. I wish to thank both of them for their contribution, both professionally and personally," commented Michele Garufi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nicox. "Vaughn has been a member of Nicox's Board for 13 years and has provided consistent support and counsel over that period, particularly during the recent strategic changes. Vince, although he has been on the Board for just one year, has played a valuable role in what has been an intense transformational period for Nicox. We will miss their counsel."

The Board has decided to co-opt Adrienne Graves, former CEO of Santen Inc., the US subsidiary of Santen, and Luzi von Bidder, former Chairman of Acino Holding AG and former Chairman and CEO of Novartis Ophthalmics AG, as members of the Board with effect from August 8 and August 11, respectively. These co-options will be submitted to Nicox's shareholders for approval at the General Meeting to be convened in the Fall to vote on the proposed acquisition of Aciex Therapeutics, Inc. (see Nicox press release dated July 2, 2014).

Nicox's Board of Directors also intends to propose to such General Meeting the appointment of Les Kaplan, Executive Chairman of Aciex Therapeutics, Inc. and former Executive Vice President and President, Research and Development of Allergan, Inc., as member of the Board, subject to the prior approval by Nicox's shareholders of the acquisition of Aciex Therapeutics, Inc.

"We are pleased to nominate to our Board three senior executives with a wealth of knowledge of the ophthalmology business," added Mr Garufi. "Adrienne is recognized as a leader in the global industry, thanks to her research skills in ophthalmology together with her extensive US operational experience. Luzi will bring his extensive experience on the European market to support our growth in this market. Les has played a key role in building up Aciex's innovative and promising pipeline of novel therapeutics after many years as Executive Vice President and President, Research and Development at Allergan, Inc. All three nominated Board members will bring invaluable expertise to the Company at this crucial stage in our development."

Adrienne L. Graves, Ph.D, was President and Chief Executive Officer of Santen Inc., the US arm of Japan's largest ophthalmic pharmaceutical company, from 2002 to 2010. Prior to joining Santen, Dr. Graves spent nine years with Alcon Laboratories, Inc., progressing through various roles, including Director of International Ophthalmology. Dr. Graves serves as Director on several Corporate Boards, including Akorn, Inc., TearLab Corporation, Aerpio, Encore Vision and Envisia Therapeutic, and Foundation Boards, including the ASCRS1 Foundation, Glaucoma Research Foundation and AAO2 Foundation (emeritus). Dr. Graves received her AB in Psychology with honors from Brown University (Rhode Island, United States), her PhD in Psychobiology from the University of Michigan (Michigan, United States), and she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in visual neuroscience at the University of Paris (France).

Luzi A. von Bidder was until recently Chairman of the Swiss-listed company Acino Holding AG, a pharmaceutical company focused on novel drug delivery forms which was acquired by Pharma Strategy Partners GmbH in December 2013. Mr von Bidder is currently on the Board of several other private healthcare companies, including Ferring and Solvias. Between 1992 and 2002, prior to joining Acino, M. von Bidder served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Novartis Ophthalmics AG, a subsidiary of the Swiss arm of Novartis. He also served as a member of the Novartis Pharma Executive Committee and held various positions at Ciba-Geigy. Mr von Bidder graduated in Economics from HSG University of St. Gallen (Switzerland).

Les Kaplan, PhD, is the Executive Chairman of Aciex Therapeutics, Inc. He was previously Executive Vice President of Allergan, Inc. Dr. Kaplan joined Allergan in 1983 and, prior to being appointed to Executive Vice President, was Corporate Vice President, and President, Research and Development, and Global BOTOX from June 1998 to November 2003. He was elected to Allergan's board of directors in 1994. Dr. Kaplan is currently board chairman of Aciex and a director of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc and Neurotech. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Clinical Research Institute of the Foundation for Fighting Blindness. Dr. Kaplan received an MS and PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California (Los Angeles, United States).


  1. ASCRS: American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  2. AAO: American Academy of Ophthalmology

About Nicox

Nicox (Bloomberg: COX:FP, Reuters: NCOX.PA) is an emerging international company focused on the ophthalmic market. With a heritage of innovative R&D, business development and commercial expertise, the Nicox team is building a diversified portfolio of therapies and diagnostic tools that can help people to enhance their sight. The Company's commercial portfolio and near-term pipeline already include several innovative diagnostic tests intended for eye care professionals, as well as a range of eye care products. Nicox's key proprietary asset in ophthalmology is latanoprostene bunod, a novel compound based on Nicox's proprietary nitric oxide (NO)-donating R&D platform, currently in Phase 3 clinical development in collaboration with Bausch + Lomb for the potential treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension. Further NO-donors are under development, notably through partners.

Nicox is headquartered in France, with research capabilities in Italy, a growing commercial infrastructure in North America and in the major European markets and an expanding international presence through partners. Nicox S.A. is listed on Euronext Paris (Compartment B: Mid Caps). For more information on Nicox or its products please visit

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.

Risks factors which are likely to have a material effect on Nicox's business are presented in the 4th chapter of the « Document de référence, rapport financier annuel et rapport de gestion 2013 » filed with the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) on April 2, 2014 and available on Nicox's website ( and on the AMF's website ( ).

Nicox Gavin Spencer  |  Executive Vice President Corporate Development
  +33 (0)4 97 24 53 00 |
Media Relations  
United States Justin W. Jackson | Burns McClellan, Inc.
  +1 212 213 0006 |
United Kingdom Jonathan Birt
  +44 7860 361 746 |
France Caroline Courme | Communication Manager
  +33 (0)4 97 24 53 43 |

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