Synageva Biopharma and Trimeris Announce Merger Agreement
LEXINGTON, Mass. and DURHAM, N.C., June 13, 2011 – Synageva BioPharma Corp., a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutic products for rare disorders (“Synageva”), and Trimeris, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRMS) (“Trimeris”), announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Synageva will merge with Trimeris in an all-stock transaction. Upon closing, the combined company will be named Synageva BioPharma Corp., and will operate under the leadership of the Synageva management team with Sanj K. Patel serving as the President and Chief Executive Officer. In addition, the company’s board of directors will have representatives from both the existing Synageva and Trimeris boards.
The merger will create a publicly-traded company focused on the development of novel therapeutics for patients with rare diseases and unmet medical need.
“The strategic combination of our two companies will allow Synageva to continue to aggressively advance our lead clinical program, SBC-102, an enzyme replacement therapy for LAL Deficiency,” said Sanj K. Patel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Synageva BioPharma. “Since launching Synageva in 2008, we have made tremendous progress in building a promising pipeline of product candidates targeted at rare and devastating diseases. This transaction gives us access to significant financial resources while maintaining our focus on the goal of bringing our clinical development programs to commercialization as soon as possible.”
Martin Mattingly, Chief Executive Officer of Trimeris, Inc. added, “We believe this newly combined company will have dramatic upside. The rare disease space offers very attractive opportunities for success due to the absence of effective therapies, the relatively small clinical trials, and the faster path to commercialization. We found the Synageva opportunity to be particularly compelling. The combined company will have a clinical stage asset with ownership of worldwide commercial rights, a portfolio of additional rare disease programs, substantial financial resources and a strong management team with prior experience in successfully bringing rare disease products to market.”
SBC-102 is a recombinant human lysosomal acid lipase with the same amino acid sequence as the human lysosomal acid lipase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for the breakdown of cholesteryl esters and triglycerides. Late onset LAL Deficiency, sometimes called Cholesteryl Ester Storage Disease (CESD), affects both children and adults. In these patients, the buildup of fatty material in the liver, spleen and blood vessel walls leads to complications resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Early onset LAL Deficiency, sometimes called Wolman Disease, affects infants in the first year of life and is rapidly fatal. Synageva has received orphan drug designations for SBC-102 in both the US and EU.
The merger will take the form of a stock-for-stock merger intended to qualify as a tax-free reorganization. Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both Synageva and Trimeris, upon completion of the merger, Trimeris will issue to Synageva stockholders shares of Trimeris common stock such that Synageva stockholders will own approximately 75% of the combined company's shares outstanding, and Trimeris stockholders will own approximately 25%. Options and warrants of both Synageva and Trimeris will be assumed by the combined company and become options and warrants to acquire stock of the combined company.
The closing is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including Trimeris stockholder approval and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.
MTS Securities, LLC, an affiliate of MTS Health Partners, L.P., is acting as exclusive financial advisor and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP is acting as legal counsel for the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Trimeris. Ropes & Gray, LLP is acting as legal counsel for Synageva.
About Synageva BioPharma Corp.
Synageva BioPharma Corp. is dedicated to discovering, developing and delivering medicines for patients with rare diseases and unmet medical need. The Company has developed a pipeline of novel therapeutic products for under-served populations and has assembled a team with a proven record of bringing orphan therapies to patients. Further information regarding Synageva BioPharma Corp. is available at http://www.synageva.com.
About Trimeris, Inc.
Trimeris, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRMS) pioneered the development of a class of antiviral drug treatments called fusion inhibitors. The Company's currently marketed product is FUZEON, an anti-HIV fusion inhibitor which was developed by the Company in collaboration with Roche. Substantially all of Trimeris' revenues are derived from the Company's collaboration with Roche relating to FUZEON. For more information about Trimeris, please visit the Company's website at http://www.trimeris.com.
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