invoX Pharma to Acquire F-star Therapeutics, Inc. a Pioneering Next Generation Bispecific Discovery Platform and Clinical Programs
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- Published on Friday, 24 June 2022 10:44
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- Proposed ~US$161 million all-cash acquisition to accelerate invoX’s strategy to build Sino Biopharm’s International Biopharmaceutical R&D Platform outside of China, transforming the lives of patients worldwide
- The transaction demonstrates the strength of F-star’s differentiated bispecific antibody technology and provides backing from a top 40 global pharmaceutical company to accelerate growth and unlock potential
- F-star’s unique next-generation tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibody platform complements Sino Biopharm’s existing capabilities and reinforces its global oncology pipeline
LONDON, UK I June 23, 2022 I invoX Pharma (“invoX”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited (“Sino Biopharm”) (HKEX 1177 HK), focused on research and development (R&D) and business development activities outside of China, and F-star Therapeutics, Inc. (“F-star”) (NASDAQ:FSTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering bispecifics in immunotherapy so more people with cancer can live longer and improved lives, today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement whereby invoX will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of F-star common stock for $7.12 per share. The proposed acquisition values F-star at approximately $161 million. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the invoX and F-star Boards of Directors and is expected to close in the second half of 2022.
F-star’s proprietary platform technology pioneers the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies that enable the simultaneous targeting of two different antigens and a unique set of pharmacology to deliver focused, potent and safe immune activation in the tumor microenvironment. Four programs are progressing in clinic, three based on F-star’s tetravalent platform and one next generation STING agonist, with multiple further undisclosed programs in development. These programs represent potentially first- and best-in-class drug candidates for many areas of unmet medical need, including patients with cancer and other serious diseases who have few other options available. Leveraging its modular antibody technology, F-star has forged collaborations with major international biopharma companies across a wide range of therapeutic areas including oncology, immunology and neurology.
invoX, established in 2021 in the United Kingdom, is Sino Biopharm’s international expansion platform, focusing on R&D and business development activities outside of China, with a core focus on oncology and respiratory therapeutics. F-star will form a key element of invoX’s strategy to accelerate Sino Biopharm’s development of innovative medicines to transform the lives of patients worldwide, complementing its existing R&D platforms and pipeline.
Ben Toogood, Chief Executive Officer of invoX commented: “Today’s proposed acquisition is aligned with invoX’s strategy to become a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with an advancing pipeline of innovative products addressing unmet healthcare needs, worldwide. We are excited to welcome F-star employees and look forward to working with them as we invest in the company to progress and grow its clinical pipeline to realize the full potential of the platform.”
Eliot Forster, Chief Executive Officer of F-star said: “We believe our tetravalent bispecifics offer the best approach to tackle hard-to-treat cancers and other serious diseases, with the ambition to deliver longer and improved lives for patients. Today’s announcement is good news for F-star, for our shareholders and, of course, for patients. This transaction enables greater and longer-term opportunities to develop the F-star platform and accelerate delivery of our novel medicines as we work together towards a future free from cancer and other serious diseases. I’d like to thank the fantastic team at F-star as well as our partners for all their hard work, support and dedication and I’m delighted to share this exciting development.”
Under the terms of the merger agreement, invoX, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sino Biopharm, will commence a tender offer within the next 10 business days to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of F-star common stock for a price of US$7.12 per share in cash upon the completion of the offer. The transaction is expected to complete in the second half of 2022, subject to certain customary closing conditions, including the tender by F-star stockholders of greater than 50 percent of the issued and outstanding shares of F-star common stock and required regulatory approvals, including the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and other customary closing conditions. Following the closing of the tender offer, invoX will acquire any shares of F-star that are not tendered in the tender through a second-step merger under Delaware law at the tender offer price.
PJT Partners is acting as financial advisor to invoX, and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC is acting as financial advisor to F-star. Shearman & Sterling LLP is serving as legal counsel to invoX and Sino Biopharm and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. is serving as legal counsel to F-star.
About invoX Pharma
invoX Pharma was incorporated in March 2021 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sino Biopharm, a global top 40 pharmaceutical company with more than 24,000 employees. United Kingdom-based invoX is Sino Biopharm’s international expansion platform, focusing on R&D and business development activities outside of China, with a core focus on oncology and respiratory therapeutics. At its core, the Company aspires to improve patients’ lives by creating access to innovative medicine.
For further information about invoX Pharma, please visit: https://invoxpharma.com/.
About Sino Biopharm
Sino Biopharm, together with its subsidiaries, is a leading, innovative research and development driven pharmaceutical conglomerate in China, with a business scope that is vertically integrated including research and development, manufacturing and sales and marketing infrastructure. The Company’s product offerings include a variety of biologics and small molecule drugs, and in therapy areas that include hepatology, oncology, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, orthopaedics, digestive and immune and respiratory diseases.
For further information about Sino Biopharm, please visit: http://www.sinobiopharm.com/.
About F-star Therapeutics, Inc.
F-star Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering bispecifics in immunotherapy so more people with cancer can live longer and improved lives. F-star is committed to working towards a future free from cancer and other serious diseases, through the use of tetravalent (2+2) bispecific antibodies to create a paradigm shift in treatments. The Company has four second-generation immuno-oncology therapeutics in the clinic, each directed against some of the most promising IO targets in drug development, including LAG-3 and CD137. F-star’s proprietary antibody discovery platform is protected by an extensive intellectual property estate. F-star has over 500 granted patents and pending patent applications relating to its platform technology and product pipeline. The Company has attracted multiple partnerships with biopharma targeting significant unmet needs across several disease areas, including oncology, immunology, and CNS.
F-star’s four clinical programs are:
FS118: Rescuing CPI treatment failures & Improving outcomes in CPI naïve
A dual checkpoint inhibitor targeting PD-L1 and LAG-3. Phase 2 PoC trial underway in head & neck PD-1 acquired resistance patients as well as in CPI-naïve NSCLC & DLBCL.
FS222: Improving outcomes in PD-L1 low tumors
A CD137 (4-1BB) stimulator and PD-L1 inhibitor, with superior potency seen in pre-clinical activity. Phase 1 trial underway.
FS120: Improving CPI and chemotherapy outcomes
A conditional OX40/CD137 (4-1BB) dual agonist, with broad potential for combination. Phase 1 trial underway.
SB 11285: Improving CPI outcomes
A second generation STING agonist with Phase 1 monotherapy and PD-L1 (atezolizumab) combination trial underway.
For further information about F-star Therapeutics, Inc. please visit: http://www.f-star.com/.