Report: Wilex, GPC nearing merger pact

Two German biotech companies which share a very big investor are preparing to merge, according to a prominent German newspaper. Wilex and GPC Biotech, both involved in developing new cancer therapies, are each backed by SAP founder Dietmar Hopp. Analysts say that a merger would suit both biotechs. GPC is well funded but doesn't have the late-stage therapeutics that investors love, while Wilex has a compelling late-stage project for kidney cancer. GPC's satraplatin recently failed in a clinical trial, adding to its motivation to merge.

The companies, though, aren't talking about any of it. Complicating the rumors: A third Hopp-based biotech--Heidelberg Pharma--has also been touted as a potential partner for GPC and Wilex. Hopp owns 15 percent of GPC, 28.52 percent of Wilex and 75 percent of Heidelberg. Wilex was a 2005 Fierce 15 company.

Just days ago GPC announced a new round of layoffs, with some of its top execs headed out the door.

- read the AFX report

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