Nivalis Therapeutics and Alpine Immune Sciences, a privately-held biotechnology company developing novel therapies using its next-generation immune system modulation platform, have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Alpine will merge with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nivalis in an all-stock transaction. The merger will result in a combined company with a novel protein-based discovery platform focused on inflammation and immuno-oncology.
Alpine is focused on developing novel protein-based therapies using its variant immunoglobulin domain (vIgD) platform technology. The vIgD platform is designed to create novel therapeutics that modulate multiple therapeutic targets, including many present in the immune synapse. Alpine’s vIgDs are developed via a unique process known as directed evolution which can produce proteins capable of either enhancing or diminishing an immune response, creating a platform applicable to both oncology and inflammatory diseases. Alpine plans to initiate a phase I clinical trial with its first compound, a dual ICOS/CD28 antagonist engineered for use in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, in the second half of 2018.
“We believe this transaction with Alpine is an exciting path forward to advance important new therapies for patients and to create significant value for shareholders,” said Howard Furst, chairman of the board of Nivalis. “Alpine, which has discovered novel ways to target the immune synapse, is led by a solid and experienced management team that has successfully brought immunotherapies to market.”
“This merger provides a unique opportunity to accelerate the development of our novel immunotherapy platform focused on both inflammation and immuno-oncology,” said Mitchell H. Gold, M.D., executive chairman and chief executive officer of Alpine Immune Sciences. “We look forward to building on our early success by taking multiple novel programs into the clinic to help patients with significant medical needs.”
The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of both companies. The merger is 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.
Gold will become the chairman and chief executive officer of the combined company. Following the merger, the board of directors of the combined company will expand to seven seats with two representatives from Nivalis.
Upon closing of the transaction, the name of the combined company will become Alpine Immune Sciences.