Privately held Synlogic has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Mirna Therapeutics under which Synlogic will merge with a wholly owned subsidiary of Mirna in an all-stock transaction. The merged company will continue under the Synlogic name and will focus on advancing Synlogic’s drug discovery and development platform for Synthetic Biotic medicines, which are designed using synthetic biology to genetically reprogram beneficial microbes to treat metabolic and inflammatory diseases and cancer.
“We believe that our Synthetic Biotic medicines are efficient and targeted biologic engines with the potential to have a transformative impact on the treatment of human diseases. While many conventional medicines address one molecular dysfunction, these living medicines have the potential to uniquely and effectively compensate for entire processes or pathways to treat patients with significant unmet medical need,” said Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Synlogic. “This merger and our recently completed Series C financing are projected to provide the capital to progress our two lead metabolic disease programs through patient proof-of-concept studies as well as advance the development of our earlier product candidates.”
By mid-2017, Synlogic plans to initiate a phase I healthy volunteers study for its lead candidate, SYNB1020, which is for the potential treatment of Urea Cycle Disorders (UCD) and hepatic encephalopathy (HE), both diseases where patients experience elevated ammonia levels. Following success in the first study, the company plans to open two parallel studies in symptomatic patients with UCD and HE. The company’s second development candidate SYNB1618 will be studied in Phenylketonuria (PKU), which is caused by defective metabolism of the amino acid phenylalanine.
“Following a thorough review of strategic alternatives, we are delighted to announce this transaction with Synlogic, which we believe is in the best interest of Mirna’s stockholders,” said Paul Lammers, M.D., M.Sc., president and chief executive officer of Mirna. “Synlogic is advancing an exciting potential new class of medicines supported by a strong drug discovery and development platform, an experienced management team and a strong set of investors.”
About the Transaction:
Following the merger, current Synlogic shareholders are expected to own approximately 83% of the combined company and the current Mirna stockholders will own approximately 17% of the combined company. The exchange ratio is based on Mirna’s expected cash at the time of the close, and the actual allocation will be subject to adjustment based on Mirna’s net cash balance at closing.
The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both companies. The merger is currently expected to close in the third quarter of 2017, subject to the approval of the stockholders of each company and the satisfaction or waiver of other customary conditions.
Management and Organization:
Following the merger, Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, Ph.D., Synlogic’s chief executive officer, will become the chief executive officer of the merged company. The board of directors will be comprised of seven directors, including two directors currently serving on Mirna’s board. Upon closing of the transaction, the merged company will operate under the Synlogic name and the company’s common stock will trade on the NASDAQ global market under a ticker symbol to be announced at a later date. The corporate headquarters will be located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.