NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Caprion Pharmaceuticals and Ecopia Biosciences have agreed to merge to form a new company that is focused on drug development, and then sell off Caprion’s proteomics business, the companies said today.
The firms said they expect to divest Caprion’s CellCarta proteomics unit within a year, and then will solely pursue oncology and infectious disease therapeutics. The new company will have three clinical therapeutic programs nearing commercialization, the companies said.
The development comes six months after Caprion backed out of a planned IPO last July after citing poor market conditions. The company’s protein-profiling technology is based on sample prep and purification, mass spectrometry analysis, quantitative expression of protein peptides, and bioinformatics.
Under the terms of the merger, Caprion shareholders stand to receive around 70 million shares, or 50 percent ownership, of the new company. Shareholders also will be entitled to be compensated for the sale of the CellCarta unit, although the companies said such payments would be dependent on “certain conditions.”
Two securities companies, Desjardins and Dundee, will handle a private placement that the companies said will be reach least $30 million. Additionally, two healthcare companies, Picchio Pharma and Power Technology, have offered to put up $4 million to lead the financing, Caprion and Ecopia said.
"The combination is a bold move to create an integrated biotechnology company with scale, critical mass and diversified, later-stage clinical products,” said Caprion president and CEO Lloyd Segal.