EyeGate (EYEG) Stock Flies On CEO Appointment & Acquisition

EyeGate Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: EYEG) is screaming for the top in the market this morning, and for good reason. The company announced that not only has it appointed a new CEO, it has entered a non-binding letter surrounding the acquisition of Bayon Therapeutics. Here’s what’s happening:

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EYEG Announces CEO Appointment

In the press release, EyeGate Pharmaceuticals said that it appointed Brian M Strem, Ph.D., Co-Founder, Director and former CEO of Okogen, Inc and co-founder and managing director of Banyon Therapeutics, as the company’s permanent President, CEO, and Board Member, effective immediately. The company went on to point to his strategic expertise, scientific acumen, and drug development experience in ophthalmology, otology, and regenerative medicine. 

In particular, Strem is a biotech executive and entrepreneur that has in-licensed global, exclusive rights to the intellectual property covering multiple generations of photoswitches. 

As the Director and CEO at Okogen, Strem led a successful Series A financing and was responsible for all aspects of corporate strategy, intellectual property, fundraising, drug development, market access, and positioning. 

Prior to founding Bayon and Okogen, he held leadership positions at Sound Pharmaceuticals and Allergan. He has also served as a director for Shire Pharmaceuticals and began his career at Cytori Therapeutics. 

Potential Acquisition

Aside from the appointment of Strem, EYEG also said that it entered a non-binding letter of intent to acquire Bayon Therapeutics, a private ophthalmic specialty pharmaceutical company that’s focused on using light sensitive photoswitch small molecules, specifically designed to restore vision in patients with inherited and age-related degenerative retinal diseases. 

As a result, EyeGate and Bayon intend to negotiate and enter into a definitive agreement under which Bayon would be acquired for about 50,000 shares of the company’s common stock, and a potential earnout consideration of up to $7.1 million or, at the Company’s discretion, up to approximately 2.2 million shares of common stock or common stock equivalents based on the achievement of successive milestones based on clinical trial data and regulatory approval of Bayon products. 

Management Commentary

In a statement, Stephen From, Executive Chairman at EYEG, had the following to offer:

Brian’s dynamic entrepreneurship, business development achievements and ability to drive his vision forward makes him exceptionally well qualified for this significant inflection point in EyeGate’s evolution. 

We are pleased by the recent advancements across our clinical development program for PP-001 and OBG: two unique platforms with broad therapeutic potential among a diverse range of ocular surface and systemic diseases. We look forward to building on this momentum, and we have the greatest confidence in Brian and the executive team’s ability to marshal the necessary resources to maximize the value of our platform, explore additional pipeline expansion opportunities and successfully lead EyeGate through this next phase of continued growth.

We would like to thank Franz Obermayr, PhD., for his leadership as Acting Chief Executive Officer, and we look forward to continued collaboration as he transitions and reassumes his position as EVP Clinical Development.

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Final Thoughts

All told, this is huge news. Not only is EyeGate Pharmaceuticals getting a new CEO, there’s a strong probability that it will take part in an acquisition, bringing new products into its downline. All told, there are big moves being made here and investors have good reason to be excited about EYEG stock. 

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