MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 9 ForSight Labs LLC announcedtoday that its second spin out company, privately held ForSight Newco II,Inc., has entered into an agreement to be acquired by QLT Inc.(Nasdaq: QLTI; TSX: QLT). The acquisition includes ForSight Newco II'sproprietary ocular punctal plug drug delivery system. This system has thepotential for multiple product opportunities, including treatment of glaucoma.Glaucoma affects ~65 million people worldwide and is the second leading causeof blindness. Approximately 99% of glaucoma patients are treated with topicalmedications; this new technology could address the uncertainty ofpatient-administered daily drops.
"We are thrilled to be working with QLT," said Hanson S. Gifford III,Chairman of ForSight Labs and President and CEO of ForSight Newco II. "QLT 'steam is powerfully positioned with the experience and focus to maximize theclinical impact of this platform drug delivery technology."
Under the terms of the agreement, QLT will acquire all of the outstandingshares of ForSight Newco II for $42 million on closing, along with futuremilestone payments and royalties on net sales of products. The milestonepayments consist of a one-time $5 million payment upon the initiation of aphase III clinical trial meeting certain criteria, $20 million on firstcommercialization of each of the first two products using ForSight Newco II'sproprietary technology and $15 million on first commercialization of eachsubsequent product. The acquisition is expected to close early in the fourthquarter of 2007 and is subject to customary closing conditions. On completionof the acquisition, ForSight Newco II will become a wholly-owned subsidiary ofQLT. Through this acquisition, QLT, via its wholly-owned subsidiary, willobtain worldwide rights to commercialize ForSight Newco II's proprietarypunctal plug technology combined with any active pharmaceutical ingredient.QLT will lead and fund future development efforts in this program.
"This transaction represents an important milestone toward our goal offounding successful companies that provide caregivers new therapies thatpreserve the power of vision for patients," said K. Angela Macfarlane,President and CEO of ForSight Labs. "The ForSight team has demonstrated itsability to efficiently create dramatic new opportunities in ophthalmology,"said William J. Link, Ph.D., Managing Director at Versant Ventures andChairman of ForSight Newco II. ForSight Newco II was funded by three of theleading venture capital firms in the medical device field: Versant Ventures,Split Rock Partners, and Morgenthaler Ventures .
About ForSight Labs, LLC
ForSight New Co. II is the second company to be spun out of ForSight LabsLLC (http://www.forsightlabs.com), an ophthalmic technology incubatorestablished in 2005 by renowned ophthalmologist and retinal surgeon Eugene deJuan, Jr. MD in collaboration with The Foundry (http://www.thefoundry.com).In late 2006, ForSight Labs launched its first company, Transcend Medical,Inc. ForSight Labs is backed by investors Morgenthaler Ventures(http://www.morgenthaler.com), Split Rock Partners (http://www.splitrock.com),and Versant Ventures (http://www.versantventures.com). ForSight Labs is acommunity of ophthalmic innovation focused on improving the sight, care, andquality of life of visually impaired patients by creating high-impact eye carecompanies.
About Morgenthaler Ventures
Morgenthaler Ventures is a leading, national venture capital team withoffices in Menlo Park, CA; Boston, MA; Princeton, NJ, Boulder, CO; andCleveland, OH. It concentrates its investments in life sciences andinformation technology.
Morgenthaler's Life Science Team focuses on medical devices andtherapeutic pharmaceuticals. Recent investments include Avidia, Morphotek,Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Replidyne, Orexigen, Thermage, Emphasys, Satiety,Cierra, Ardian,