Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. and Zalicus Inc., announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Epirus will merge with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zalicus in an all-stock transaction. Following closing, Zalicus will be re-named Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., and will operate under the leadership of the Epirus management team with Amit Munshi serving as the president and chief executive officer. In addition, Dr. Mark H.N. Corrigan will serve as chairman of the company’s board of directors, which will have representatives from both the existing Epirus and Zalicus boards.
The merger will create a Nasdaq-listed, publicly traded company focused on building a global biosimilar enterprise to improve patient access to important medicines. Epirus is currently developing a pipeline of biosimilars, including BOW015, a biosimilar to Remicade ®, BOW050, a biosimilar to Humira ®, and BOW030 a biosimilar to Avastin ®.
Epirus also announced today that it has closed a $36 million Series B financing round led by Livzon Mabpharm, Inc. Other investors participating in this round include Adage Capital, Greenwoods Investment, Gibralt US, Inc., Monashee Capital Partners LP, and an investment affiliate of Mousse Partners, as well as existing investors TPG Biotech ®, Montreux Equity Partners and 5AM Ventures.
“Under the new company structure, we will continue to aggressively advance our pipeline of biosimilars, and address diverse global biosimilar markets through local partnerships,” said Amit Munshi, president and CEO of Epirus. “Through this transaction, we gain access to additional financial resources as well as clinical trial experience in the rheumatoid arthritis space. Our combined team is committed to expanding patient access to important medications.”
Mark H.N. Corrigan, M.D., president and CEO of Zalicus, said, “We are strong believers in the upside of this newly combined company and the potential of the biosimilar space. Epirus’ strategic model and experienced management team, coupled with Zalicus’ knowledge of the rheumatoid arthritis space and global clinical development expertise, position us well to leverage our strong relationships with key opinion leaders and experience in conducting European clinical trials in RA. This merger creates a dynamic and exciting new enterprise to successfully develop and commercialize biosimilars for the global market. After an extensive review of potential merger candidates and their product pipelines, Zalicus identified Epirus as an organization with the potential to create significant value for our shareholders.”