Chanticleer Holdings Inc. and Princeton-based Sonnet BioTherapeutics Inc., a privately held clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative targeted biologic drugs, announced Friday they entered into a definitive merger agreement under which the shareholders of Sonnet will become the majority owners of Chanticleer’s outstanding common stock upon the closing of the merger.
Subject to shareholder approval by both Chanticleer and Sonnet, and approval of the Nasdaq Stock Market, the proposed merger will result in a publicly-traded company operating under the Sonnet name focused on advancing a pipeline of oncology candidates, and the strategic expansion of Sonnet’s technology platform into other human diseases.
“This merger is an exciting next step for Sonnet that complements Sonnet’s committed financing of up to $100 million and further supports our commitment to advancing our novel oncology product candidates with the ultimate goal of overcoming persistent challenges in cancer care,” said Pankaj Mohan, founder and chief executive officer of Sonnet. “As we become a publicly-traded entity, we look forward to accelerating the execution of our proprietary platform technology for innovating immune therapeutics that includes our pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical therapeutic candidates.”
Sonnet’s pipeline of therapeutic compounds is currently focused on oncology indications of high unmet medical needs.
“Our vision is to leverage our FHAB [Fully Human Albumin Binding] platform to innovate immune therapeutic products with better safety and efficacy,” said John Cini, Sonnet’s chief scientific officer. “We believe our most advanced candidate, SON-080, represents a highly differentiated, disease-modifying treatment for CIPN [chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy], an indication of high unmet medical need. Behind SON-080, we have pipeline of distinguished biologic new molecular entities that we believe has the potential to change the cancer treatment landscape and positively impact the lives of patients and their families.”
Mike Pruitt, chairman and CEO of Charlotte, N.C.-based Chanticleer, said that as part of this transaction Chanticleer will spin-off its current restaurant operations – which include the Hooters and American Burger Co. brands – into a newly created entity to be owned by the current Chanticleer stockholders.
“The transaction with Sonnet comes after a thorough review of Chanticleer’s current operations and strategic alternatives,” Pruitt said. “The decision by our management and board to choose Sonnet to be our merger partner will allow our shareholders to participate in a dynamic company with a robust pipeline, backed by a sizeable commitment from an institutional investor to continue the development of the drug candidates.”