BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - After announcing that it intended to raise €130 million (US$168.5 million) through a rights issue, NicOx SA released the details of the offer at the end of January, which is open to shareholders residing only in France.

Sophia Antipolis-based NicOx is offering 9,131,526 new shares at a price of €14.20 per share. The shares represent 24 percent of the company's equity before the capital increase and 19.35 percent afterward.

Shareholders who are registered as owning shares in NicOx at the close of trading on Jan. 29 will receive one preferential subscription right (PSR) for every share they own.

Twenty-five PSRs will entitle them to subscribe for six new shares on an irreducible basis at the offer price. In addition, they will have the opportunity to subscribe for new shares on a reducible basis. The operation is due to close on Feb. 16.

The new shares will have a nominal value of €0.20, so the offering will result in a nominal capital increase of €1,926,305. It is being underwritten by a banking syndicate led by Merrill Lynch International and UBS Investment Bank as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners and including Lazard-Natixis and Piper Jaffray as joint lead managers.

NicOx intends to use the funds to speed up the development of its most advanced drug candidates, and in particular to complete the regulatory clinical development of its lead compound, naproxcinod.

Two further pivotal Phase III trials of naproxcinod are scheduled for the first half of 2007, and the company hopes to file an initial marketing authorization application for the drug in the United States in the first quarter of 2009.