Kuros to merge with Cytos to gain entry to the Swiss Stock Exchange

Kuros Biosurgery is merging its way on to the Swiss Stock Exchange. The deal will fuse orthobiologic player Kuros to Cytos Biotechnology (SWX:CYTN), a Swiss drug developer that decided to shut up shop last year after its asthma drug flunked a Phase IIb trial.

Zurich, Switzerland-based Kuros is the dominant partner in the combination. Kuros' executives will take control of the resulting company, which is to be called Kuros Biosciences, and will stick to the same course they were plotting prior to the merger. KUR-111 and KUR-113, a pair of bone fracture products that are barrelling toward Phase III, are to be the focal points of the combined company. The main change is that Kuros will gain the option to tap public investors for any additional cash it may need to fund its activities.

"Going public was the next logical step in developing Kuros into a leading player in its business segment," Kuros Chairman Arnd Kaltofen said in a statement. While the stock market listing was a major driver of the deal, Kaltofen talked up some other benefits, too. "Kuros … [will] add significant board expertise and further revenue potential through Cytos' existing licensing deals," he said. The boost expertise will arrive in the form of Cytos' current CEO and CFO, who will serve as chairman and a member of the board, respectively, following the closing of the deal.

The rest of Cytos' contribution to the combined company amounts to early-stage collaborations it has inked with Checkmate Pharmaceuticals and Arbutus Biopharma in the months since its in-house program fell apart. Checkmate and Arbutus, the biotech formerly known as OnCore Biopharma, have both acquired access to Cytos' virus-like particle (VLP) technology, which they see as having a role in the treatment of cancer and hepatitis B, respectively. The programs, while currently very early stage, could eventually become a notable source of income for the combined company.

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