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2023-07-05| Partnerships

Merger Announced Between Immunome and Morphimmune

by GeneOnline
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Immunome and Morphimmune have announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement this past Thursday. Consequently, they will be operating under the name Immunome and will have their headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

Immunome is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on discovering and developing antibody therapeutics to improve patient care. On the other hand the biotechnology company Morphimmune focuses on developing targeted oncology therapeutics. 

Related Article: Coherus Acquiring Surface Oncology in $65M Stock Deal

Synergistic Growth: Immunome Merges with Morphimmune 

In a reverse subsidiary merger, Immunome will purchase Morphimmune. The all stock transaction has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors. Moreover, the new company will operate under the name Immunome and retain the same ticker symbol. About 55% of the combined company will be owned by Immunome’s security-holders and about 45% of it by Morphimmune’s security-holders. The current CEO and President of Morphimmune, Dr. Clay B. Siegall, will serve as Immunome’s CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board of Directors. After the proposed merger, the company’s board of directors will be made up of seven members, two chosen by Morphimmune and one by Immunome. The remaining four will be mutually agreed upon. 

$125 Million Investment Announced 

The companies simultaneously announced a $125 million private placement. They hope to use the investment to further the development of their key products in their pipelines, advance their platforms, and support day-to-day operations. Dr. Siegall said, “Combining Morphimmune’s Targeted Effector Platform with Immunome’s Discovery Engine will enable us to pursue novel targets and modalities, unlocking substantial synergistic value.” The merger, coupled with the investment, represents Immunome’s first step into becoming a preeminent oncology company. 

The key assets in Immunome’s combined pipeline are their anti-IL-38 Antibody and Morphimmune’s folate receptor-targeted TLR7 agonist (FA-TLR7a). FA-TLR7a is a folate receptor that, when activated, induces a robust immune response. This targeted immunotherapy shows promise as an oncology target as well as the potential to work in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. Their other key asset is the anti-IL-38 antibody, which has been found to suppress the immune response to tumors. The therapy accomplishes this by blocking IL-38, which is believed to be used by certain types of tumors. 

Furthermore, the new company anticipates the submission of three INDs within the next 18 months. The completion of both the merger and private placement is expected to be finalized by 2023’s fourth quarter. This merger and investment represent a step forward in the advancement of targeted cancer therapies as well as solidifying their place as a key player in the industry. 

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