RXi Pharmaceuticals to buy Apthera in stock deal Print E-mail
By Deborah Sterescu-Proactiveinvestors   
Thursday, 31 March 2011 16:58

RXi Pharmaceuticals Corp (NASDAQ:RXII) said Thursday it will acquire privately held biotech company Apthera, which has a pipeline of therapies to treat an aggressive type of breast cancer.

Under the terms of the deal, Apthera shareholders will initially receive 4.8 million RXi shares, and will be entitled to receive further payments based on certain development and commercial milestones for the company's prime drug candidate, NeuVax.

"This merger will provide significant experience and support for moving our late stage HER2 direct breast cancer drug, NeuVax into phase III in the first half of 2012," said president and CEO of Apthera, Dr. Mark Schwartz.

Breast cancers that test positive for protein HER2, or Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2, are more aggressive than other types.

NeuVax, a peptide-based immunotherapy, is expected to enter phase III clinical trials in the first half of 2012, for patients with low-to-intermediate HER2+ breast cancer that are not elgible for the standard care drug, Herceptin.

Upon closing of the deal, Dr. Schwartz will join RXi as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Arizona-based RXi's core focus is developing RNAi-based (a gene silencing process) treatments for anti-scarring and retinal disorders,with a continued interest in oncology and indications accessible by spinal cord delivery.

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