Divestiture of Selected MabVax Assets Managed by Objective Capital Will Continue
MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc., a clinical-stage immuno-oncology drug development company with a fully human antibody discovery platform focused on the clinical development of products to address unmet medical needs in the treatment of cancer and pancreatitis, today announced that it has entered into discussions to merge with Oncotelic, Inc., a privately held cancer immunotherapy company. Oncotelic is developing a unique TGF-b antisense therapy which has demonstrated the ability to break immune tolerance in mid-stage clinical trials for the treatment of glioblastoma and pancreatic cancer.
Based on terms of a non-binding letter of intent signed by both companies on January 3, 2019, MabVax and Oncotelic are entering discussions to combine the companies to form a publicly traded company focused on the development of proprietary immunotherapy-based products of both companies to diagnose and treat cancer. Under the terms of the letter of intent, Oncotelic will merge with a wholly-owned subsidiary of MabVax in an all-stock transaction and will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of MabVax. The merger is subject to the approval of the MabVax board of directors and achieving certain financing objectives and other customary conditions. Upon closing of the transaction, MabVax will be re-named Oncotelic, Inc. and will operate under the leadership of the combined Oncotelic and MabVax management teams, with Vuong Trieu, founder of Oncotelic, an experienced and successful biotechnology entrepreneur, as executive chairman. Certain current senior management team members at MabVax will remain with the merged companies to fill key operational roles.
On a pro forma basis, calculated at the close of the merger, the current MabVax stockholders will own 25% and Oncotelic stockholders will own 75% of the combined company, respectively. The merger agreement contemplates securing financing of at least $10 million simultaneous with execution of the merger to support the clinical development of Trabedersen, Oncotelic’s TGF-b antisense therapy, in both glioblastoma and pancreatic cancer trials.
Vuong Trieu, Ph.D., who will be executive chairman of the company post-merger, said, “Our goal has been to grow a strong RNA therapeutic company that leverages innate immunity to achieve durable and effective immunotherapies for solid tumors and the merger with MabVax will allow us to complement that effort with key programs and capabilities from MabVax that will significantly strengthen the effort.”
David Hansen, President and CEO of MabVax, said, “Through this transaction we hope to leverage our clinical and operational expertise in the post-merger company to advance the clinical development of Trabedersen while also integrating the development of key assets discovered by MabVax. This will allow us to continue the process of realizing the maximum value of assets we have developed through a process already initiated with Objective Capital while simultaneously maximizing the value of our lead technologies for stockholders.”
On December 13, 2018, MabVax announced that it had engaged Objective Capital Partners, LLC to serve as a financial advisor to assist MabVax in exploring the sale of clinical and preclinical assets of the Company with the goal of maximizing the value of these assets within the near term. MabVax’s lead monoclonal antibody product, 5B1 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, could be one of the assets that potentially could be developed into later stage clinical trials by the combined company.
Date: January 7, 2019