Capricor, a privately held biotechnology company developing cardiac stem cell (CDC) therapeutics to repair damaged heart muscle, and biopharmaceutical company Nile Therapeutics have entered into a merger agreement under which Capricor will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Nile Therapeutics in an all-stock transaction.
The combined company will be named Capricor Therapeutics and will operate under the leadership of the Capricor management team with Linda Marban, Ph.D., chief executive officer. The company's board of directors will have representatives from both the existing Capricor and Nile boards.
The merger will create a publicly traded company focused on the development of novel treatments to prevent and treat heart disease, as well as having a core expertise in regenerative medicine. Capricor currently is recruiting patients to its ALLSTAR trial, a phase I/II trial involving 274 patients who have suffered large heart attacks. The phase I portion of the trial has been funded in part by a grant from the NIH. Phase II the ALLSTAR trial is funded in part by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).
"Capricor's and Nile's therapies will address both the underlying causes and debilitating effects of heart disease," said Marban. "Capricor's CDCs are allogeneic cardiac derived stem cells that aim to attenuate and potentially improve damage to the heart that can result in heart failure, while Nile's cenderitide is intended to treat patients following hospital discharge from an acute episode of heart failure."