Bedminster-based biopharma company buys Aquarius BioTechnologies Inc.

Jessica Perry//January 30, 2015

Bedminster-based biopharma company buys Aquarius BioTechnologies Inc.

Jessica Perry//January 30, 2015

Bedminster-based Matinas BioPharma Holdings Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced Friday that it has acquired all of the outstanding stock of Aquarius BioTechnologies Inc., a bio-delivery drug discovery company with ties to Rutgers University.”Through the acquisition of Aquarius and its novel lipid-based, targeted drug delivery platform, Matinas BioPharma significantly expands its technological portfolio with several product candidates in the field of infectious diseases, which have been supported through the collaboration with and investment by the National Institutes of Health via grants and research contracts,” Roelof Rongen, CEO and president of Matinas, said in a prepared statement.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Matinas will issue 5 million shares of its common stock at the closing of the offer, and up to an additional 3 million shares if certain milestones are achieved.

When the merger is complete, former Aquarius stockholders will own approximately 8 percent of the shares of common stock outstanding, and the stockholders of Matinas will own about 92 percent.

“Aquarius and its stockholders are extremely enthusiastic about this merger, as the combined platform builds on both companies’ technological strengths and is expected to further enhance the opportunity to develop novel drugs to treat various infectious diseases,” Dr. Raphael J. Mannino, founder of Aquarius, said in a prepared statement.

Mannino, an associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Rutgers Medical School, will act as an adviser to Matinas on its continued development of its acquired products, the cochleate technology. The product was developed in collaboration with Rutgers, which has also granted Aquarius exclusive license to it.

“The Office of Research Commercialization at Rutgers is pleased with this transaction, both as licensor to this novel technology and as a stockholder of Aquarius,” S. David Kimball, associate vice president, research commercialization, said in a prepared statement. “This promising technology platform that we developed with Aquarius is now bolstered by the combination with Matinas BioPharma, whose team has a great track record of developing lipid-based therapies and driving commercial success. We believe Matinas is well positioned to capitalize on the potential for this platform.

“We are also pleased that Matinas BioPharma is a New Jersey-based company, further demonstrating our commitment to strengthen Rutgers’ and New Jersey’s reputation as a cradle of scientific innovation.”


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