Adynxx merges with Alliqua, snagging Nasdaq listing ahead of pain trials

Screen of Nasdaq stock tickers
Adynxx’s shareholders will own 86% of the combined company. (bfishadow/CC BY 2.0)

Adynxx is set to gain a Nasdaq listing by merging with Alliqua BioMedical. The reverse merger comes six months after Adynxx committed to advancing pain drug brivoligide, despite the candidate coming up short in a midphase study.

San Francisco-based Adynxx funded the phase 2 trial of brivoligide in postsurgical pain patients with $16 million it raised in a series B round last year. Adynxx has backed away from plans to move the drug straight into phase 3 on the strength of the midphase data. But, with its current development plan centering on two midphase trials featuring a total of 260 patients, it will still need cash.

The merger with Alliqua gives Adynxx a route to investors. Having sold its wound care assets earlier this year, Alliqua has spent the past few months trying to offload anything else of value. Adynxx will take on the Nasdaq listing. A manufacturing facility, Alliqua’s last major asset, is up for sale.

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If the deal closes as expected in the first quarter, the resulting company will look a lot like Adynxx. The West Coast biotech’s shareholders will own 86% of the combined company, which will be called Adynxx. Advancing brivoligide will be the top priority of the merged company.

The outstanding question is whether Adynxx can make a success of brivoligide. In phase 2, the EGR1 inhibitor was no better than placebo at reducing pain in the weeks after surgery. That resulted in the trial missing its primary endpoint, but Adynxx looked past the setback and instead focused on data from a subgroup of patients with higher scores on the pain catastrophizing scale (PCS).

Buoyed by the subgroup analysis, Adynxx plans to test brivoligide in patients who have a PCS score of 16 or higher following total knee arthroplasty or mastectomy.