Yumanity backs onto Wall Avenue through Proteostasis merger

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On the heels of a Large Pharma deal value as much as $500 million, Yumanity Therapeutics is merging its manner onto Wall Avenue. The neuro-focused biotech is becoming a member of up with Proteostasis, which as soon as deliberate to maneuver a cystic fibrosis drug into the clinic this yr however is now in search of somebody to purchase its pipeline.

Slated to shut by the top of the yr, the all-stock deal will see Proteostasis shareholders choose up all excellent shares of Yumanity. All instructed, Yumanity shareholders will personal about two-thirds of the mixed firm, with Proteostasis shareholders holding the remaining one-third. Proteostasis will get two new seats on the corporate’s board, whereas all of Yumanity’s administrators will proceed on, together with co-founder, chairman and former CEO Tony Coles, M.D.

“Immediately’s announcement brings collectively two organizations that share a typical scientific heritage within the science of protein misfolding and brings that science one step nearer to novel options for sufferers affected by the debilitation of neurodegenerative illnesses,” Coles mentioned in a press release. “We sit up for persevering with this essential medical work on behalf of sufferers as we make this transition to changing into a public firm.” 

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Yumanity’s lead program, YTX-7739, is in part 1 for the remedy of Parkinson’s illness. The corporate is pursuing a number of different neurodegenerative illness applications, together with remedies for dementia, a number of system atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Two of these applications are the topic of Yumanity’s partnership with Merck. The Large Pharma is keen to wager as a lot as $500 million for the unique rights to remedies for ALS and frontotemporal lobar dementia, or FTLD, a gaggle of unusual mind problems that have an effect on the frontal and temporal lobes of the mind. Merck additionally chipped right into a sequence C spherical alongside Yumanity’s backers Constancy Administration, Redmile Group, Pfizer Ventures, Alexandria Enterprise Investments, Tony Coles and Dolby Household Ventures.

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The corporate raised $45 million in its sequence A spherical in 2016. It has stored the quantities of subsequent rounds below wraps however mentioned it has raised greater than $100 million from buyers.

“Our merger with [Proteostasis] ought to allow the mixed firm to develop sooner, ship potential therapies to sufferers extra rapidly and create sustainable shareholder worth properly past what both of us would obtain individually,” mentioned Yumanity CEO Richard Peters, M.D., Ph.D.

“This merger additionally ensures that we’ve got entry to the extra capital we might want to advance our pipeline of disease-modifying therapies,” Peters added.

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As for Proteostasis, the corporate is “pursuing a strategic transaction” for the CFTR modulators it was growing to deal with cystic fibrosis (CF). The corporate had been testing combos of its medicine on organoids derived from sufferers and deliberate to maneuver onto the medical portion of the examine within the fourth quarter.

With the Yumanity deal within the offing, the corporate has slashed its workforce by 79%, ending up with 5 full-time staffers who’re supporting the merger in addition to its efforts to dump its CF property.

“We consider that our CF drug candidates have the very best likelihood of reaching sufferers within the fingers of a pharmaceutical firm with international growth and commercialization capabilities that shares our imaginative and prescient of empowering the worldwide CF affected person group with extra remedy choices is realized,” Proteostasis CEO Meenu Chhabra mentioned within the assertion.

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