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EyeGate Skyrockets After It Names a New CEO and Plans for an Acquisition

EyeGate Pharmaceuticals soars on new CEO and acquisition announcement.

EyeGate Pharmaceuticals  (EYEG) - Get EyeGate Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report skyrocketed Tuesday after the biotech named Brian Strem as president and CEO, while announcing it had signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire specialty pharmaceutical company Bayon Therapeutics.

Shares of the Waltham, Mass., company were soaring 112.5% to $6.63 on Tuesday.

Strem, whose appointment is effective immediately, is the co-founder, director and former CEO of Okogen as well as co-founder and managing director of Bayon Therapeutics.

EyeGate and Bayon intend to negotiate and enter into a definitive agreement in which EyeGate would acquire Bayon for closing consideration of 50,000 shares of the company’s common stock, and potential earnout consideration of up to about $7.1 million, or 2.2 million shares of the company’s stock.

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Bayon Therapeutics is a private ophthalmic specialty pharmaceutical company focused on using light sensitive "photoswitch" small molecules, specifically designed to restore vision in patients with inherited and age-related degenerative retinal diseases.

While at Bayon, Strem in-licensed global, exclusive rights to the intellectual property covering multiple generations of photoswitches.

In-licensing involves creating a contract that allows another firm to provide capital to the development and launch process, thus taking on financial responsibility. 

Strem co-founded Okogen, an ophthalmic company focused on a novel therapeutic for the treatment of viral infections of the eye, where he was most recently, director and CEO. 

"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,” Stephen From, executive chairman of EyeGate, said in a statement.