Adventrx to acquire SynthRx in all-stock deal

San Diego-based Adventrx Pharmaceuticals has entered a definitive agreement to acquire SynthRx, a private biotechnology company developing a purified form of a rheologic and antithrombotic agent, poloxamer 188.

Under the terms of the all-stock transaction, SynthRx would become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adventrx in exchange for shares of common stock. SynthRx stakeholders would be entitled to receive additional shares of common stock upon the dosing of the first patient in a Phase III clinical study, FDA acceptance of a new drug application and final agency approval of an NDA.

Adventrx CEO Brian Culley dubbed the acquisition a "transformative event" that will allow the company to keep its cash for development activities. "The 188 program will fit well with our existing assets and provide several exciting development opportunities," he added in a statement. "We would plan to meet with the FDA later this year to reach agreement on a protocol for a pivotal phase III study for the treatment of sickle cell crisis in a pediatric population, for which 188 has orphan drug designation. Sickle cell patients are an under-served population suffering from an excruciatingly painful condition with limited palliative options. Beyond sickle cell, we believe 188 has clinical benefits in other acute events related to microvascular-flow abnormalities, such as heart attack, stroke and hemorrhagic shock."  

Roughly two years ago, Adventrx was in dire straits. But by January 2010, Adventrx was back on its feet and had raised $19 million in financing. The company was able to get enough money to restart clinical testing of ANX-530, a reformulated version of the already approved drug Navelbine. And just last month, Adventrx agreed to sell equity to RA Capital Management and other healthcare-related investors for a per unit purchase price of $2.75, representing gross proceeds of about $22.5 million. 

- read the Adventrx release