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Drug Developer BioCryst to Acquire Presidio Pharmaceuticals

Microscopic view of the hepatitis C virus (

Microscopic view of the hepatitis C virus (

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Durham, North Carolina and Presidio Pharmaceuticals Inc. in San Francisco agreed to a merger of the biopharmaceutical companies. The deal in which BioCryst acquires Presidio is an all-stock transaction valued at $101 million.

The merger will combine two clinical stage drug development operations that the companies say will focus on infectious diseases, starting with hepatitis C and the orphan disease hereditary angioedema, an immune-system disorder causing swelling in the e hands, feet, limbs, face, intestinal tract, larynx, and trachea. Both companies are developing drugs to treat hepatitis C, a viral disease that leads to inflammation of the liver.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals designs and develops small molecule drugs that block enzymes involved in infectious and inflammatory diseases, with a technology that creates synthetic compounds using x-ray crystallography and computer modeling of molecular structures. BioCryst has two drugs in late stage development for the treatment of influenze and gout. Its hepatitis C and hereditary angioedema programs are still in preclinical stage, but expected to start phase 1 safety trials before the end of the year.

Presidio Pharmaceuticals also develops small molecule antiviral therapies. Its lead hepatitis C candidate, PPI-668, completed phase 1 trials and is ready for phase 2 clinical studies. A second, complementary hepatitis C antiviral candidate. PPI-383 is currently undergoing studies for an Investigational New Drug application with the FDA.

The combined company is expected launch under a new name, with headquarters in Durham, North Carolina and facilities in San Francisco and Birmingham, Alabama. The board the new company have consist of three members from Presidio and six members from BioCryst. BioCryst’s CEO Jon Stonehouse will be the CEO of the combined company.

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Hat tip: Fortune/Term Sheet

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