NEW YORK, NY, USA and LONDON, UK I September 18, 2015 I Celsus Therapeutics Plc (CLTX) and Volution Immuno Pharmaceuticals SA today announced that, following shareholder approval obtained at a general meeting of the shareholders of Celsus held on September 16, 2015, the previously announced acquisition by Celsus of Volution has closed. The combined company has changed its name to Akari Therapeutics, Plc and will trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “AKTX” beginning on September 21, 2015. Akari will focus on development and commercialization of life-transforming treatments for a range of rare and orphan autoimmune and inflammatory diseases caused by dysregulation of complement C5, including paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS). 

In connection with the acquisition, Celsus issued an aggregate of 722,345,600 ordinary shares to RPC Pharma Limited, the sole shareholder of Volution, representing 92.85% of Celsus’s outstanding Ordinary Shares immediately following the closing of the acquisition (or 91.68% of Celsus ordinary shares on a fully diluted basis).

The board of directors of the combined company is currently comprised of seven members: new directors Ray Prudo, Clive Richardson, James Hill and Stuart Ungar and existing Celsus directors Mark Cohen, Gur Roshwalb and Allan Shaw.

As previously announced on August 18th, the ratio of Celsus’s American Depository Shares (ADSs) changed from one ADS to ten (10) ordinary shares (1:10) to one ADS to one hundred (100) ordinary shares (1:100), effective as of September 17, 2015. The ratio change has the same effect as a 1-for-10 reverse split of its ADSs.

Following the closing of the acquisition, Akari expects to close  the previously announced $75 million private placement entered into with a select group of investors, led by Deerfield, and including Venrock, Vivo Capital, Foresite Capital, New Enterprise Associates, QVT Financial, RA Capital Management and certain other institutional investors. The private placement values the combined entity at $150 million on a fully diluted basis prior to the completion of the private placement. The private placement is expected to close on or about September 18, 2015.

“The closing of this acquisition represents an important milestone as Akari moves forward the development of Coversin, our lead asset and potential best-in-class second generation C5 complement inhibitor,” said Dr. Gur Roshwalb, Chief Executive Officer of Akari. “We look forward to advancing Coversin into Phase 2 development in patients with Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria, and to address a significant unmet need in the treatment of patients resistant to eculizumab.”

Dr. Ray Prudo, Executive Chairman stated “I am looking forward to building on and developing the excellent management team and innovate therapeutics at Akari.”

About Akari Therapeutics Plc

Akari is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics to treat orphan autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Akari’s lead drug, Coversin is a second-generation complement inhibitor that acts on complement component-C5, preventing release of C5a and formation of C5b-9 (also known as the membrane attack complex or MAC). C5 inhibition is growing in importance in a range of rare autoimmune diseases related to dysregulation of the complement component of the immune system, including paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS), and  Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS).

SOURCE: Akari Therapeutics