Rare Daily Staff

EnBiotix, a late-stage company focused on treatments for rare, chronic respiratory diseases, and Swiss biotech Polyphor have signed a merger agreement to create a late-stage clinical development company with two programs in cystic fibrosis.

EnBiotix also expects to finalize a financing round ahead of the closing of the merger. Upon completion of the merger, former EnBiotix equity holders are expected to own approximately 75 percent of Polyphor’s common stock. Polyphor’s current shareholders are expected to own approximately 25 percent of Polyphor’s issued common shares. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies.

“We believe the merged company’s strong pipeline and focus on rare diseases and oncology can provide substantial opportunities to benefit patients, in particular cystic fibrosis patients with two clinical stage programs,” said Kuno Sommer, chairman of the board of directors at Polyphor.

The closing of the merger agreement is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions, including approval by Polyphor and EnBiotix shareholders, satisfactory completion of due diligence and satisfactory assessment of tax consequences. Following closing, expected in the fourth quarter of 2021, Polyphor will be renamed and is expected to trade under a new ticker symbol on the Swiss Stock Exchange.

At the same time, the companies have signed a definitive asset purchase agreement where EnBiotix acquires Polyphor’s inhaled murepavadin for $10 million in exchange for 2.6 million shares of EnBiotix (15.4 percent fully diluted of EnBiotix).

The combined company plans to advance its pipeline through multiple clinical trials and strategic transactions to build a rare disease and oncology company with plans to initiate a registrational phase 3 study of ColiFin, approved in Europe since 2010, for the treatment of lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients to seek approval in the United States.

Immediate plans also include starting a phase 1 trial of inhaled murepavadin for the treatment of cystic fibrosis patients. Inhaled murepavadin is a novel class of inhaled antibiotic specifically targeting P. aeruginosa that is being developed for the treatment of these infections in people with CF and is beginning phase I development using the eFlow technology nebulizer from PARI Pharma.

The combined company also plans to in-license or acquire other rare disease and oncology assets post-closing that will consolidate its position in these therapeutic areas.

“As we continue to pursue a unique position as a rare disease and oncology company, this merger with Polyphor is truly strategic,” said Jeffrey Wager, chairman and CEO of EnBiotix. “We believe the merged company will provide a powerful platform for pipeline and corporate development and look forward to pursuing additional partnering opportunities as we seek to address the unmet needs of our target patient populations.”Upon completion of the merger, Wagner is expected to become chairman of the board of directors and CEO of the combined company, replacing the current CEO, Gökhan Batur, who will oversee the next steps until the closing of the merger.

Photo: Jeffrey Wager, chairman and CEO of EnBiotix

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