BioCryst nixes merger, sending Idera stock down
- Idera's stock has fallen by over 21% since Tuesday's announcement that BioCryst has pulled the merger between the two companies. Meanwhile, BioCryst stock jumped 8% before leveling off.
- The termination followed a vote against the agreement at a special meeting of BioCryst stockholders on July 10. In a story of two halves, the majority of Idera stockholders voted for the merger in a meeting on the same day.
- Idera will be reimbursed $6 million in transaction-related expenses by BioCryst under the terms of the merger agreement, and remains on the lookout for an opportunity to replace BioCryst's promise.
Idera has been rattled by the collapse of the merger announced in January. The aim of the union was to bolster the pipelines of the two companies by bringing their rare disease portfolios together. Now the two will have to go it alone.
Idera's stockholders were firmly behind the step, and its investors are evidently not happy, as judged by the drop in its share price. The company is determined to move ahead with its lead product tilsotolimod, while scanning the horizon for a new way forward.
"We will remain focused on the development of tilsotolimod in anti-PD-1 refractory melanoma … as well as begin to explore [its role in]… solid tumor cancers. While we remain focused on the development of tilsotolimod, if an opportunity arises to further enhance shareholder value and build our company through business development, we will explore it," said Vincent Milano, Idera’s CEO.
In an pipeline and strategy update, BioCryst has tried to reassure shareholders of its future as a standalone company, and the stable share price suggests that this has been successful. The company has an ongoing APeX-2 pivotal trial of BCX7353 in Type I and Type II hereditary angioedema (HAE), with the first 24 weeks expected to read out in the first half of 2019.
In the same timeframe, BioCryst plans to begin a Phase 1 trial of its ALK-2 inhibitor in fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive. Top-line results from the ZENITH-1 Phase 2 clinical trial of BCX7353 as an acute treatment of HAE attacks are expected in the third quarter of 2018.
"We are focused on serving the interests of all stockholders in their desire for BioCryst to pursue a standalone strategy and continue our path to treating patients with rare and serious diseases. [We]… are steadfast in our commitment to capitalize on the opportunities in BioCryst's current portfolio and advance the promising candidates in the company’s pipeline to generate stockholder value," said Robert Ingram, chair of the board, in a statement.
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