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Anesiva and Arcion Therapeutics Announce Merger Agreement

Anesiva and Arcion Therapeutics Announce Merger Agreement

Anesiva and Arcion Therapeutics Announce Merger Agreement

Anesiva and Arcion Therapeutics Announce Merger Agreement

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Anesiva, Inc. and Arcion Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held company, announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement.

The merger will result in a public company with a portfolio of late-stage targeted pain therapeutics. The merger transaction, approved by both companies' Boards of Directors, will combine the companies under the name of Arcion Therapeutics, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2009.

Upon closing of the merger, Arcion and Anesiva shareholders will own approximately 64% and 36%, respectively, of the outstanding shares of the combined company. Closing of the merger is contingent upon, among other conditions, a vote of approval by Anesiva's current shareholders.

The proposed merger of Anesiva and Arcion creates a highly synergistic company with a pipeline comprised of late-stage programs that address large markets with unmet needs, such as neuropathic pain, moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis and post-operative pain.

Anesiva's Adlea™ (capsaicin) for post-operative pain completed two Phase 3 trials last year, and Arcion's ARC-4558 is currently in Phase 2b for painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN). Other development programs include Arcion's ARC-2022, a topical drug for post-herpetic neuralgia, which is currently in late-stage preclinical development.

"This merger and the synergies that it offers present an exciting new opportunity for Anesiva investors. The combined company will have the financial resources, pipeline of products and the management team to maximize shareholder value going forward," said Michael Kranda, Chief Executive Officer of Anesiva. "Because of the focus of our product portfolio and the strength of the combined team of executives and advisors, we believe that we can operate under a virtual, cost-efficient business model that will create many value-driving milestones."

"There is a tremendous need to create drugs that treat pain where the pain signal originates and we believe that our targeted treatments will address the shortcomings of current therapies, including addiction, systemic side-effects, insufficient efficacy, and frequent or inconvenient dosing," said James Campbell, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Arcion. "Merging with Anesiva creates a portfolio of late-stage product candidates with extensive safety and efficacy databases that could fulfill many unmet needs in the U.S. prescription pain market."