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BioCryst to acquire Presidio Pharmaceuticals for $101 million
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and privately held Presidio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement, under which Presidio will be acquired by BioCryst in an all-stock transaction. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the transaction, which values Presidio at approximately $101 million, based on the Oct. 17 closing BioCryst share price of $4.11 per share. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including BioCryst shareholder approval, and is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.  
"The Presidio team looks forward to joining forces with BioCryst in the pursuit of groundbreaking oral therapies for HCV and other important diseases such as hereditary angioedema," Richard Colonno, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Presidio, said in a press release. "Our initial focus will be on commencing HCV curative Phase IIa combination trials with our NS5A inhibitor PPI-668, while advancing both our nucleoside and non-nucleoside inhibitors through Phase I proof-of-concept trials next year."  
Presidio is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company based in San Francisco. The company specializes in the discovery and development of small-molecule antiviral therapeutics, with its current focus consisting of therapies for hepatitis C virus infection. Its hepatitis C pipeline consists of compounds that target both the NS5A and NS5B proteins of the disease, and its aim is "to discovery and advance small-molecule, antiviral drug candidates that are potent, have pan-genotypic antiviral activity, offer convenient once-daily oral dosing and can be combined with other classes of HCV antivirals to combat viral resistance." Presidio's lead HCV candidate, PPI-668, is an NS5A inhibitor active against all major HCV genotypes, and is being evaluated in a Phase I clinical trial. The company is also working on PPI-383, a pan-genotypic non-nucleoside inhibitor that targets the NS5B polymerase. The compound is undergoing IND-enabling studies.  
The merger agreement will combine both companies' experience and work in hepatitis C virus therapeutics, as BioCryst also has an NS5B-targeted compound in production. BCX5191 is a potent HCV NS5B-targeted nucleoside analog that is expected to enter Phase I trials before the end of the year. In addition, BioCryst's portfolio also includes a plasma kallikrein inhibitor for the treatment of hereditary angioedema; peramivir, a viral neuraminidase inhibitor for treating influenza; and ulodesine, a purine nucleoside phosphorylase for the treatment of gout. Together, the combined organization will have a variety of compounds in development in HCV and orphan diseases.  
"We're creating this new company to pursue the development and commercialization of antiviral and orphan drugs. Presidio brings exciting HCV assets to the new company, and a highly experienced scientific team with a proven track record in antiviral drug discovery and development," Jon P. Stonehouse, president and CEO of BioCryst, said in a statement. "Each of our HCV antivirals works via a different targeting mechanism and each is suitable for development in combination regimens with other classes of HCV inhibitors. The diversity of our HCV portfolio reduces our clinical development risk and defines this new company as a serious competitor in the development of orally administered, safe and effective combination therapies for hepatitis C."
Code: E10181201



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