Basking Ridge-based biotech Regado Biosciences Inc. is merging with a California biopharmaceutical company, they announced Wednesday.While the privately held Tobira Therapeutics Inc. will merge with a wholly owned subsidiary of Regado in the all-stock transaction, the combined company will take the Tobira name, be based at Tobira’s South San Francisco headquarters and be led by Tobira CEO Dr. Laurent Fischer. The company will be focused on the development of novel treatments for liver and inflammatory diseases, it said in a news release.
A Tobira investor syndicate has committed to a $22 million investment in the combined company, according to the release, which will fund the development program for Tobira’s lead product, the immunomodulator and anti-fibrotic agent cenicriviroc, for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH.
“Following an extensive and thorough review of strategic alternatives, we believe the proposed merger with Tobira provides the opportunity for substantial returns for Regado shareholders,” Regado CEO and President Michael A. Metzger said in a prepared statement. “We expect Tobira to be the next breakout company in NASH based on the best-in-class profile and potential of their lead drug, CVC. The merged company will derive a significant advantage from the extensive clinical, commercial and transactional expertise of the combined board and management teams.”
After the transaction, Regado shareholders will own approximately 32 percent of the combined company, while Tobira shareholders will own approximately 68 percent.
Both companies’ boards of directors have approved the deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to shareholder approval and other customary conditions.
MTS Health Partners L.P. and Cowen and Company LLC served as financial advisers to Regado, while Cooley LLP served as legal counsel. Gunderson Dettmer LLP served as legal counsel to Tobira.
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