Immune Phamaceuticals Ltd. is taking over EpiCept Corporation in share swap deal. The merged company, Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc., will develop antibody therapeutics and other targeted drugs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. The merger is due to close in the first quarter of 2013.
Immune Pharmaceuticals shareholders will own 77.5% of the merged company, and EpiCept shareholders will own 22.5%. The merged company will be headquartered in Herzliya Pituach and in Tarrytown, New York, and will have research laboratories in Rehovot. Immune Pharmaceuticals founder and CEO Dr. Daniel Teper will become the chairman and CEO of the merged company, and Dr. David Sidransky will become vice chairman.
Immune’s lead product candidate, bertilimumab, is a full human monoclonal antibody for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. It is undergoing a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. The merged company's oncology products will include Immune’s NanomAbs, a new generation of antibody drug conjugates, and EpiCept’s AmiKet, which is undergoing a Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain and post-herpetic neuralgia.
Teper and EpiCept interim president and CEO Robert Cook said in a statement, "This transaction will create a publicly traded specialty biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of four clinical-stage drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. Immune's bertilimumab, a first in class monoclonal antibody, is being evaluated clinically to address unmet medical needs in multiple severe disease indications. EpiCept's Amiket has clinical data in over 1,600 patients in various neuropathies, Fast Track designation and Phase III Special Protocol Assistance from the US Food and Drug Administration as well as a defined clinical path through the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain."