Biota Holdings Limited (BTA) and Nabi Biopharmaceuticals announced the signing of a Merger Implementation Agreement to form a combined company Biota Pharmaceuticals, listed on NASDAQ and headquartered in the USA. The Biota move to the US is designed to achieve better value recognition and liquidity through a stronger US shareholder base. Following the merger, Biota Pharmaceuticals will have three royalty generating products, Relenza, Inavir and potentially PhosLyra; a US$231 million contract with BARDA for the advanced development of laninamivir; a portfolio of clinical and pre-clinical programs comprising vapendavir (HRV), and programs for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), hepatitis C (HCV-NN), broad spectrum antibiotic targeting gyrase (GYR); an interest in NicVAX and over US$100 million in cash. The merger will require approval from both Biota and Nabi shareholders and Independent Reports confirming that the merger will be in the best interest of the shareholders and is subject to a number of other conditions set out in the Merger Implementation Agreement.
Biota Chairman, Jim Fox, commented, “A NASDAQ listing provides Biota with access to the largest healthcare capital market in the world and will enable us to transform our business model to one which can deliver significantly higher value than the royalty-only model we have historically pursued. We believe this is a necessary step to increase our options for the development and commercialisation of our product portfolio and will ultimately improve the recognition of the underlying value of our product portfolio for our shareholders”.
Biota is a leading anti-infective drug development company based in Melbourne Australia, with key expertise in respiratory diseases, particularly influenza. In addition, Biota and Daiichi Sankyo co-own a range of second generation influenza antivirals, of which the lead product lnavir®, is marketed in Japan. Biota holds a contract from the US Office of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the advanced development of laninamivir in the USA.
Nabi Biopharmaceuticals leverages its experience and knowledge in powering the immune system to develop products that target serious medical conditions in the areas of nicotine addiction and gram-positive bacterial infections.