BioSante Pharmaceuticals And Cell Genesys Sign Definitive Merger Agreement
Tue, 06/30/2009 - 5:56am
Jun 30, 2009 BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BPAX) and Cell Genesys (NASDAQ:CEGE), announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement by which the companies will merge in an all-stock transaction, with BioSante as the surviving company. Stephen M. Simes, president and CEO of BioSante, and Phillip B. Donenberg, CFO of BioSante, will continue to serve in those positions in the merged company. Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, chairman of the board of BioSante, will continue in that position. It is anticipated that Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D., chairman and CEO of Cell Genesys, and John T. Potts, Jr., M.D., a current member of the Cell Genesys board, will join the board of the merged company upon completion of the merger. The merged company will focus primarily on LibiGel, BioSante’s testosterone gel in Phase III clinical development under a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction (FSD). The merged company also will seek future development opportunities for GVAX Immunotherapies including potential combination with BioVant™, BioSante’s vaccine adjuvant, as well as possible external collaborations, and also will seek to outlicense other Cell Genesys technologies. In addition, the merged company will acquire a 16 percent equity ownership position in Ceregene, Inc., a former subsidiary of Cell Genesys which is developing gene therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. “This merger allows BioSante to secure additional funding required for the continued Phase III development of LibiGel for FSD and offers the potential to expand our product development portfolio with the addition of GVAX Immunotherapies,” said Stephen M. Simes, BioSante’s president and CEO. “LibiGel remains the only pharmaceutical product in the U.S. in active development for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in menopausal women. We continue to believe that LibiGel can be the first product approved by the FDA for the common and unmet medical need of FSD with the completion of Phase III studies targeted for mid-to-late 2010. In addition, our company has had a long-standing interest in immunotherapy based on our proprietary vaccine adjuvant, BioVant, and we look forward to future value-creating opportunities for our stockholders based on Cell Genesys’ technologies and other assets.” “Over the past several months, we have had the opportunity to evaluate a wide range of strategic alternatives for our company including several merger opportunities. After reviewing various strategic alternatives, engaging in discussions with a number of other potential merger candidates and conducting extensive due diligence on BioSante’s product development and business activities, our board of directors has voted to recommend a merger with BioSante,” stated Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D., chairman and CEO of Cell Genesys. “We believe that BioSante’s lead product, LibiGel, represents a compelling near term product opportunity with significant upside potential. We also are impressed with BioSante’s record of achievement including the recent launch of Elestrin™ (estradiol gel) as well as their CaP nanotechnology platform which includes BioVant, a novel vaccine adjuvant with potential in immunotherapy.” The merger agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both BioSante and Cell Genesys and will need to be approved by both BioSante’s and Cell Genesys’ stockholders. The merger is subject to customary closing conditions as well as a condition requiring Cell Genesys’ net cash, less certain expenses and liabilities, to be a specified minimum amount as of 10 calendar days prior to the anticipated closing date of the merger.