Rare Daily Staff

Rare disease drug developer BioCryst Pharmaceuticals and immunotherapy drug developer Idera Pharmaceuticals said that they have signed a definitive merger agreement form in a stock swap that will create a company focused on the development and commercialization of medicines to for patients with rare diseases. 

Vincent Milano, CEO of Idera, will serve as CEO of the combined company, which will be given a new name upon closing of the merger. BioCryst Chairman, Robert Ingram, will be chairman of the board of the combined company and BioCryst CEO Jon Stonehouse will serve as a member of the board.

The combined company, on a proforma basis, had approximately $243 million in cash as of December 31, 2017. It will be headquartered in Exton, Pennsylvania, at the current Idera headquarters, with a consolidated research center in Birmingham, Alabama.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, each share of BioCryst common stock will be exchanged for 0.50 shares of the new company stock and each share of Idera common stock will be exchanged for 0.20 shares of the new company stock. BioCryst stockholders will own 51.6 percent of the stock of the combined company and Idera stockholders will own 48.4 percent.

“Both of our companies have aspired to become successful providers of therapeutics for patients suffering from rare life-threatening diseases. Both share a culture that puts patients first and keeps their interests at the very core of what we do, and how we do it,” stated Vincent Milano, Idera’s CEO.  “By merging our unique talents, experiences and assets, we instantly strengthen our ability to become a significant force for patients suffering from a broad range of rare diseases.”

The new company will have a pipeline with late-stage experimental therapies in development to treat hereditary angioedema and PD1-refractory melanoma, and mid-stage experimental therapies in development to treat dermatomyositis and a liquid formulation to treat hereditary angioedema.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.  The transaction is subject to approval by the stockholders of both companies, as well as regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.  A significant stockholder of each company has agreed to enter into a voting and support agreement and has agreed to vote in favor of the transaction.  

Posted January 22, 2018

Photo: Vincent Milano, CEO of Idera Pharmaceuticals