Dipexium Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: DPRX) and privately-held late stage pharma company PLx Pharma have announced a merger agreement.
The deal between the two US companies will see PLx Pharma merging with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dipexium in an all stock transaction.
“This merger will provide PLx Pharma with the initial resources necessary to advance our contemplated development efforts for Aspertec”
Dipexium will be renamed PLx Pharma and will operate under the leadership of the PLx management team, with Michael Valentino serving as executive chairman of the company’s board of directors and Natasha Giordano serving as president and chief executive.
News of the merger sent Dipexium’s stock sharing. It was up by around 78% at $2.85 in pre-market trading on Friday.
The combined company will initially be focused on completion of manufacturing scale-up and label finalization for the previously conditionally approved Aspertec 325mg aspirin dosage form, thereby satisfying the open conditional items.
There will also be a focus on filing a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for Aspertec 81mg maintenance dose form.
Aspertec is being developed to provide high-risk cardiovascular and neurology patients with more reliable and predictable antiplatelet efficacy as compared to enteric coated aspirin while also reducing the adverse gastric events common in an acute setting.
Ms Giordano said: “This merger will provide PLx Pharma with the initial resources necessary to advance our contemplated development efforts for Aspertec and begin the critical pre-commercialization activities necessary to prepare the market for this important cardiovascular product.”
Dipexium will issue approximately 36 million new shares of its common stock to PLx stockholders under the exchange ratio formula defined in the merger agreement.
Upon the closing of the merger, existing PLx stockholders are expected to own 76.75% of Dipexium common shares outstanding and existing Dipexium stockholders are expected to own 23.25% of the common shares outstanding.
David Luci, Dipexium’s chief executive, said: “This transaction with PLx Pharma reflects the continued commitment of Dipexium’s board of directors and management team to deliver value to Dipexium stockholders.
“The merger brings with it the PLx Pharma management team, comprised of highly accomplished and seasoned executives who have launched and successfully commercialized many market leading over-the-counter products.”