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OncoGenex to acquire Achieve Life Science
BOTHEL, Wash., and VANCOUVER, British Columbia — OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals will acquire Achieve Life Science in all-stock transaction. OncoGenex is a publicly traded oncology biopharmaceutical company, while Achieve is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical provider.
Under terms of the agreement, expected to close in mid-2017, Achieve’s shareholders will own 75 percent of the combined company, while OncoGenex shareholders will own the remaining 25 percent.
According to the companies, the proposed merger will create a clinical-stage company focused on clinical and commercial development of cytisine, a selective nicotine receptor partial agonist currently in late-stage development for smoking cessation. In addition to cytisine, the combined company's pipeline will also include apatorsen (OGX-427), a once-weekly intravenous drug designed to inhibit production of heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) to disable cancer cells' defenses and overcome treatment resistance.
"After extensive and thorough review of strategic alternatives, we are very pleased to announce this proposed merger with Achieve as it adds both immediate and long-term product opportunities in indications with significant patient need and commercial opportunity," said Scott Cormack, President and CEO of OncoGenex. "With cytisine in late-stage development for smoking cessation and having a defined regulatory path with [the U.S. Food and Drug Administration] we believe the proposed merger provides our stockholders with an opportunity to realize value from their investment in OncoGenex."
The combined company's executive management team will be led by Rick Stewart, chairman of Achieve; Anthony Clarke, chief scientific officer of Achieve; John Bencich, CFO of OncoGenex; and Cindy Jacobs, chief medical officer of OncoGenex.
"Achieve is expecting to meet a number of significant clinical and regulatory milestones within the next 12 to 18 months culminating in a final, large-scale Phase 3 clinical trial,” said Stewart. “The merger of OncoGenex and Achieve provides additional clinical and corporate resources to meet those milestones."