BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have signed a definitive merger agreement to form a new enterprise focused on the development and commercialization of medicines to serve more patients suffering from rare diseases. The combined company will be renamed upon closing and will be led by Vincent Milano, CEO of Idera, who will also serve as a member of the Board. BioCryst Chairman, Robert Ingram, will be Chairman of the Board of the combined company and BioCryst CEO Jon P. Stonehouse will serve as a member of the Board of Directors.
“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. We will also gain operational synergies and strengthen our financial position.”
“The new company will have a robust late-stage pipeline with two Phase 3 candidates and two Phase 2 candidates, with several important catalysts for these programs anticipated in 2018. We will also have a deep early-stage pipeline that will continue to expand via our combined drug discovery capabilities and clinical expertise. We are extremely excited about our combined rare disease portfolio. We believe we will be well positioned to bring that portfolio to market with our proven commercial leadership team and business development opportunities.”
“Bringing these two companies together accelerates the strategic initiatives of both organizations and immediately forms a substantial and differentiated biotech company serving patients in the rare disease community,” stated Jon P. Stonehouse, BioCryst’s President and CEO. “Combining our respective pipelines, infrastructures and financial resources should enable the new company to grow faster, deliver for patients more rapidly and ultimately create sustainable shareholder value well beyond what either would achieve separately.”
The combination of two companies is expected to capitalize on the collective skills sets, internal expertise and combined assets to create a comprehensive, sustainable rare disease-focused biotechnology leader highlighted by among other things:
- A robust development pipeline, including 4 late stage programs that provide near-term commercial and partnering opportunities:
- BCX7353 – Phase 3 program for the prophylactic treatment of HAE in a capsule formulation with FDA orphan drug designation
- BCX7353 – Phase 2 program for the acute treatment of HAE in a liquid formulation
- Proven leadership across commercial, development, scientific and clinical functions, providing a combination of management and scientific talent that marries the necessary ingredients for a successful, sustainable biotech company.
- Synergistic discovery engines highlighted by two distinct research technologies and expertise which expands the number of rare disease therapeutic targets and candidates.
- Financial strength with approximately $243 million net cash balance (unaudited proforma cash balance as of December 31, 2017), with opportunities to add further non-dilutive capital to fund internal clinical development efforts, commercial launch efforts, and continued business development activities.