Nicox Selects Development Candidate in a New Class of NO-mediated Intraocular Pressure (IOP) Lowering Agents


October 23, 2020 – release at 7:30 am CET
Sophia Antipolis, France

Nicox SA (Euronext Paris: FR0013018124, COX), an international ophthalmology company, today announced that it has selected a new development candidate, NCX 1728, from its proprietary research program focused on nitric oxide (NO)-mediated IOP lowering agents.  An analog of this molecule has demonstrated1 positive results in ocular hypertensive non-human primates compared to travoprost 0.1%, a prostaglandin analog.  Prostaglandin analogs are the standard of care for IOP lowering therapies.

Nicox owns all exclusive worldwide rights to NCX 1728.  Further optimization of the ophthalmic formulations of NCX 1728 will continue prior to initiating formal pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) tests required for the filing of an IND application. 

Michele Garufi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nicox commented We are very proud to announce the selection of this new drug candidate, NCX 1728, which becomes our third in-house development program.  NCX 1728 is the first in a new class of molecules combining the clinically proven effects of nitric oxide with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibition, which has been shown to enhance the efficacy and the duration of nitric oxide-mediated effects.”

NCX 1728 was invented in Nicox’s Bresso (Milan, Italy) Research Laboratories using the Company’s proprietary NO-donating research platform, which has enabled the development of a leading scientific and strategic position in the therapeutic application of NO-donating compounds. 

NO-mediated IOP lowering agents

It has been established that NO plays a key role in the regulation of IOP and can be linked with other pharmaceutical agents, as is the case with our lead clinical development candidate NCX 470, a second generation NO-donating prostaglandin analog, and the first generation product, VYZULTA® (latanoprostene bunod ophthalmic solution), 0.024%.  VYZULTA is exclusively licensed worldwide to our partner Bausch + Lomb, who is commercializing it in the U.S. and Canada.  The effect of NO on IOP lowering may be further increased or prolonged by phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which inhibit the degradation of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), a key intracellular messenger that is produced as a result of stimulation by NO.

NCX 1728 is the first in a new class of compounds where NO-mediated effects are enhanced by concomitant action of PDE5 inhibition within the same molecule.  Data presented2on this class at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) show statistically significant IOP changes compared to vehicle in laser-induced ocular hypertensive non-human primates.  Additional data recently published1showed that a molecule of this class reduces IOP to a similar extent but with a faster onset of action when compared to travoprost.

Nicox is terminating the research collaboration with Novaliq GmbH concerning their water-free enabling EyeSol® technology since NCX 1728 has been selected and will be developed using an in-house, proprietary formulation.



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National Academy of Medicine selects Fujita Health University President as its member


IMAGE: National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has selected President Eiichi Saitoh of Fujita Health University as an international member.
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Credit: Fujita Health University

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced new members at its annual meeting on October 19, 2020. Among them, President Eiichi Saitoh of Fujita Health University has been elected as an international member.

Established originally as the Institute of Medicine in 1970, NAM works alongside the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.

The New York Times describes NAM as the United States’ “most esteemed and authoritative adviser on issues of health and medicine, and its reports can transform medical thinking around the world.”

The NAM membership position is the highest honor in the fields of medicine, medical health care, and public health in the United States, and there are prominent researchers including Nobel laureates as its member. The newly elected members bring NAM’s total membership to more than 2,200 and the number of international members to approximately 175.

As for Japanese member, twelve members have been selected as an international member, including Professor Kiyoshi Kurokawa (1996), Professor Tadamitsu Kishimoto (1997), and Professor Shinya Yamanaka (2015).

President Saitoh was selected by his social achievements in physical medicine and rehabilitation in Japan and other Asian countries as well as his leadership in the study of dysphagia.

His groundbreaking research achievement on the development of robotic rehabilitation technology and assistive technology including smart home for elderly and the study of basic mechanism of dysphagia using 3-D CT were highly evaluated.


Eiichi Saitoh (Saitoh Eiichi)

Born in Tokyo, M.D., D.M.Sc. Specialty: Rehabilitation Medicine

1980: Graduated from Keio University School of Medicine

1998-2019: Professor & Chair of Department of Rehabilitation Medicine I, the School of Medicine, Fujita Health University

2019-current: President of Fujita Health University

Social Activities: Executive board member, National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Adjunct Professor of Johns Hopkins University, USA., etc.

Awards: Various awards such as International Society of Rehabilitation Medicine Sidney Licht Lectureship Award (2015), 8th Japan Robot Award, Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Award (2018).

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