PETALUMA, Calif., Jan. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCLS) today announced that its board of directors has unanimously approved a spin-off of its novel biotechnology business, Ruthigen, Inc. Oculus management is currently working with securities counsel and bankers on a plan to provide equity in Ruthigen to Oculus shareholders. Oculus expects the spinoff to be a tax-free stock distribution and ultimately anticipates Ruthigen to become an independent NASDAQ-traded company. Oculus has retained bankers and financial advisors for the spinoff, and expects the spinoff to be completed in 2013. Execution of the transaction requires further work relative to structure, governance and other significant matters and risks. Upon completion of the spinoff, Hoji Alimi, founder and current chief executive officer of Oculus, will remain on the board of directors at Oculus and serve as chairman and chief executive officer of Ruthigen, Inc. Jim Schutz, the current chief operating officer and director of Oculus, will assume the role of chief executive officer of Oculus, with a new board chair to be elected shortly. Each company will operate with independent management teams and boards of directors to establish separate governance and financials as required by accounting rules. Additional details regarding structure will be determined and disclosed at a later time. Oculus will retain all Microcyn drug and device indications while Ruthigen will focus on RUT58-60, a drug candidate intended for the prevention of infection in trauma and surgical procedures. RUT58-60 is a new unique chemical formulation containing twice the concentration of hypochlorous acid, along with magnesium and no sodium hypochlorite. Alimi said: "By separating these unique businesses into two companies, we believe each company will benefit from greater strategic and managerial focus and be better positioned to capitalize on future market opportunities. Under the plan currently under consideration, Oculus shareholders will receive shares of Ruthigen. Ultimately, we are seeking to create additional value for current and future shareholders of both Oculus and Ruthigen.