Alpine Immune Sciences gets cash, stock listing in biotech merger

Seattle biotechnology company Alpine Immune Sciences has agreed to combine with Nivalis Therapeutics, a biotech in Colorado whose dowry includes lots of cash and a stock market listing but not much else.

Seattle biotechnology company Alpine Immune Sciences has agreed to combine with Nivalis Therapeutics, a biotech in Colorado whose dowry includes lots of cash and a stock market listing but not much else.

Shareholders of Alpine, which is run by former Dendreon leader Mitchell Gold, will own 74 percent of the combined company, while current Nivalis shareholders will own approximately 26 percent, the two said in a news release.

The transaction values Nivalis at $50 million, factoring in about $44 million in cash it expects to have when the deal closes.

The combined company will be named Alpine Immune Sciences and will trade on Nasdaq. Gold will become chairman and CEO.

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Nivalis shares plunged from $6 to around $2 in late November after its clinical trial for a cystic fibrosis treatment failed and its top executives stepped down.

In a statement, Alpine said existing investors OrbiMed Advisors, Frazier Healthcare Partners and Alpine BioVentures will invest $17 million immediately before the closing, making the combined company well-capitalized with about $90 million. The deal is subject to approval by stockholders and is expected to close in the third quarter.

“This merger provides a unique opportunity to accelerate the development of our novel immunotherapy platform focused on both inflammation and immuno-oncology,” said Gold. “We look forward to building on our early success by taking multiple novel programs into the clinic to help patients with significant medical needs.”

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