December 17, 2015 / 4:05 PM / 2 years ago

Eye drug company Alimera Sciences mulls sale: sources

(Reuters) - Alimera Sciences Inc, an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company, is in the early stages of exploring strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company has reached out to investment banks to seek advice on how it would be valued in a potential sale and who the likely buyers would be, the sources said this week, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

Alpharetta, Georgia-based Alimera, which has a market value of around $100 million, did not respond to requests for comment.

A sale process would mark the culmination of a challenging year for Alimera. Its stock price has declined by more than one-half in 2015, in part reflecting difficulties persuading physicians to adopt one of its flagship drugs, Iluvien, which treats fluid accumulation in the retina.

The Nasdaq biotechnology index dropped more than 20 percent after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton raised concerns in September about pharmaceutical companies’ ability to raise drug prices. The index has rebounded significantly in recent months, but has yet to recover its 2015 highs.

Reporting by Carl O'Donnell in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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