Biota Holdings Limited and Nabi Biopharmaceuticals today announced the signing of a Merger Implementation Agreement to form a combined company Biota Pharmaceuticals, listed on NASDAQ and headquartered in the USA.
The Biota move to the US is designed to achieve better value recognition through a stronger US shareholder base.
Following the merger, Biota Pharmaceuticals will have three royalty generating products, Relenza, Inavir and potentially PhosLyra; a US$231 million contract with BARDA for the advanced development of laninamivir; a portfolio of clinical and pre-clinical programs comprising vapendavir (HRV), and programs for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), hepatitis C (HCV-NN), broad spectrum antibiotic targeting gyrase (GYR); an interest in NicVAX and over US$100 million in cash.
The merger will require approval from both Biota and Nabi shareholders and Independent Reports confirming that the merger will be in the best interest of the shareholders and is subject to a number of other conditions set out in the Merger Implementation Agreement (a copy of which is attached to this announcement).
Key elements of the Agreement are: Biota Chairman, Jim Fox, commented, “A NASDAQ listing provides Biota with access to the largest healthcare capital market in the world and will enable us to transform our business model to one which can deliver significantly higher value than the royalty-only model we have historically pursued. We believe this is a necessary step to increase our options for the development and commercialisation of our product portfolio and will ultimately improve the recognition of the underlying value of our product portfolio for our shareholders.” Both Boards consider the merger proposal as being in the best interests of their respective shareholders in the absence of a superior proposal.
The move underpins the established and successful scientific operations in Melbourne (Australia) and Oxford (United Kingdom) with secure funding and the benefits of a broader shareholder base.