Respiratory biotech Pulmatrix ($PULM) has completed its nontraditional path to the public markets, closing a merger with upstart Ruthigen to inherit a Nasdaq listing, at the same time banking $10 million and partnering up with generics giant Mylan ($MYL).
|Pulmatrix CEO Robert Clarke|
Under the reverse merger agreement, first announced in March, Pulmatrix becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Ruthigen, exchanging its debt and equity for 81% of the company's outstanding shares. The combined company will from now on do business under the Pulmatrix name, shifting headquarters from Santa Rosa, CA, to Lexington, MA, with CEO Robert Clarke at the helm.
In tandem, a group of Pulmatrix investors--including 5AM Ventures, Arch Venture Partners and Polaris Partners--are buying $10 million worth of shares in a private placement, giving the biotech $27 million in cash on hand and funding its efforts into 2017, Clarke said.
Separately, Pulmatrix has signed over the ex-U.S. rights to its most advanced candidate, an inhaled COPD treatment called PUR0200, to Mylan for an undisclosed sum. PUR0200 is a generic version of an unspecified bronchodilator that uses Pulmatrix's proprietary iSperse platform, which the company says can get the same therapeutic effect as its reference product with a 50% to 80% smaller dose.
On its own, Pulmatrix is pressing forward with PUR1900, a proprietary inhaled drug to treat fungal infections associated with cystic fibrosis. The iSperse-powered treatment has shown promise in preclinical studies, the company said, and Pulmatrix plans to file an NDA with the FDA this year to get its candidate into Phase I trials in 2016.
The biotech is also at work on selecting a final active ingredient for PUR1500, its preclinical program for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a deadly lung disease.
The deal spells the end of the line for Ruthigen and the surgical anti-infective RUT58-60, its sole candidate. The California biotech squeaked out a $19 million IPO last year and has seen its shares fall by roughly 50% in the ensuing year.
- read the merger announcement
- get more on the Mylan deal