On January 20, Alcon’s independent director committee of shareholders rejected Novartis’ proposal to acquire Alcon’s publicly-traded shares. The week before, Novartis announced that it planned to purchase the remaining 52% of Alcon’s shares still owned by Nestlé for $180/share and all of Alcon’s publicly-traded shares for $153/share.

“The committee strongly believes that the underlying historical record and management’s expected future financial performance of Alcon justify a significantly higher price than that reflected in the current proposal by Novartis,” says Thomas G. Plaskett, chairman of Alcon’s independent director committee. “The committee will evaluate and take all appropriate and available steps to ensure that the rights of Alcon’s shareholders are not trampled on in the manner proposed by Novartis.”

Alcon also announced that it will purchase the U.S. marketing rights for Durezol (difluprednate) and Zirgan (ganciclovir), as well as nearly all global marketing rights for Zyclorin (cyclosporine) from Sirion Therapeutics.

Inspire Pharmaceuticals announced that its phase 3 clinical trial of Prolacria (diquafosol tetrasodium) for the treatment of dry eye disease did not meet its primary endpoint (a staining score of zero) or its secondary endpoint (a two-unit reduction in staining score). “We will be conducting a thorough review of the program before determining next steps, if any,” says Christy L. Shaffer, Ph.D., president and CEO of Inspire.