Aerie Pharmaceuticals Initiates Second Phase 3 Registration Trial of RoclatanTM (netarsudil/latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005%

First Patient Dosed in 90-Day Efficacy Trial Named Mercury 2

IRVINE, Calif.--()--Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AERI) (“Aerie” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class glaucoma therapies, today announced that on March 24, dosing commenced of the first patients enrolled in Mercury 2, the Company’s second Phase 3 registration trial of RoclatanTM (netarsudil/latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005%, a novel once-daily eye drop being tested for its ability to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. RoclatanTM is a fixed dose combination of Aerie product candidate RhopressaTM (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02% and latanoprost, the most widely prescribed PGA (prostaglandin analogue). Aerie estimates total enrollment of approximately 690 patients in this three-arm 90-day efficacy study, comparing once-daily RoclatanTM for superiority to each of its two components, all dosed once daily in the evening. Patients will be evaluated with maximum baseline IOPs ranging from above 20 to below 36 mmHg (millimeters of mercury). The first Phase 3 registration trial for RoclatanTM, named Mercury 1, commenced in September of 2015. Mercury 1, which is also a superiority trial with the same comparators as Mercury 2, is a 12-month safety trial with a 90-day interim efficacy readout. The Company also plans to commence in the first half of 2017 a third Phase 3 trial for RoclatanTM, named Mercury 3, which will be for the sole purpose of facilitating regulatory approval and commercialization in Europe.

“We are pleased to have commenced Mercury 2 on schedule, and we currently expect to read out topline 90-day efficacy data for the trial in the second quarter of 2017. Further, the Mercury 1 topline 90-day efficacy readout continues to be on track for the third quarter of 2016. Should both Mercury registration trials be successful, we expect to file the NDA for RoclatanTM in the second half of 2017, approximately one year after we anticipate filing the NDA for RhopressaTM,” said Vicente Anido, Jr., Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Aerie.

About Roclatan™

Roclatan™ is a once-daily eye drop that combines our triple-action Rhopressa™ with latanoprost, a PGA that is the most widely prescribed glaucoma drug. If approved, we believe that Roclatan™ would be the first glaucoma product to lower IOP through all known mechanisms: (i) increasing fluid outflow through the trabecular meshwork (TM), the eye’s primary drain, (ii) increasing fluid outflow through the uveoscleral pathway, the eye’s secondary drain, (iii) reducing fluid production in the eye, and (iv) reducing episcleral venous pressure (EVP).

A successful 28-day Phase 2b clinical trial for Roclatan™ was completed in June 2014. RoclatanTM achieved its primary efficacy endpoint on day 29 and demonstrated statistical superiority over the product’s individual components at all time points. We believe that Roclatan™, if approved, would be the only glaucoma product that covers the full spectrum of known IOP-lowering mechanisms, giving it the potential to provide a greater IOP-lowering effect than any currently approved glaucoma product. The first Phase 3 registration trial for RoclatanTM, named Mercury 1, commenced in September 2015, and the second Phase 3 registration trial, named Mercury 2, which is the subject of this press release, commenced in March 2016. A third Phase 3 clinical trial, named Mercury 3, is expected to commence in Europe in the first half of 2017. Mercury 3 is not necessary for approval in the U.S., but rather to facilitate regulatory approval and commercialization in Europe.

About Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Aerie is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of patients with glaucoma and other diseases of the eye. Aerie's two lead product candidates are once-daiIy IOP-lowering therapies with novel mechanisms of action to treat patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension. It is expected that the NDA filing for RhopressaTM (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02% will take place in the third quarter of 2016. The second product candidate, RoclatanTM (netarsudil/latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005%, which is a fixed dose combination of RhopressaTM and widely prescribed PGA latanoprost, currently has two Phase 3 registration trials underway, named Mercury 1 and Mercury 2. If these trials are successful, a RoclatanTM NDA filing is expected to take place in the second half of 2017. In addition, Aerie is further building its pipeline, including through research collaborations with GrayBug, Inc. and Ramot at Tel Aviv University.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We may, in some cases, use terms such as “predicts,” “believes,” “potential,” “proposed,” “continue,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “may,” “could,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “exploring,” “pursuing” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: the success, timing and cost of our ongoing and anticipated preclinical studies and clinical trials for our current product candidates, including statements regarding the timing of initiation and completion of the studies and trials; our expectations regarding the clinical effectiveness of our product candidates and results of our clinical trials; the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain U.S. Food and Drug Administration or other regulatory authority approval of, or other action with respect to, our product candidates; our expectations regarding the commercialization of our product candidates; our expectations related to the use of proceeds from our initial public offering and the issuance and sale of our senior secured convertible notes and the issuance and sale of shares of our common stock in connection with our “at the market” sales agreements; our estimates regarding anticipated capital requirements and our needs for additional financing; the potential advantages of our product candidates; our plans to pursue development of our product candidates for additional indications and other therapeutic opportunities; our plans to explore possible uses of our existing proprietary compounds beyond glaucoma; our ability to protect our proprietary technology and enforce our intellectual property rights; and our expectations regarding strategic operations, including our ability to in-license or acquire additional ophthalmic products or product candidates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events, competitive dynamics and industry change, and depend on regulatory approvals and economic circumstances that may or may not occur in the future or may occur on longer or shorter timelines than anticipated. We discuss many of these risks in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in the quarterly and annual reports that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate may differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.


Aerie Pharmaceuticals
Richard Rubino, 908-947-3540
Burns McClellan, Inc., on behalf of Aerie Pharmaceuticals
Ami Bavishi, 212-213-0006
Justin Jackson, 212-213-0006

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