Flex Pharma to merge with Salarius to accelerate development of cancer treatments
Flex Pharma Inc. said Friday it has reached an agreement to merge with privately held Salarius Pharmaceuticals LLC in a deal aimed at accelerating the clinical development of Salarius' pipeline of drugs for rare, orphan cancers for which there are no treatments. Salarius recently completed a $6.4 million private placement, which is expected to fund the new company combined with cash from Flex through mid-2020. Once the deal is closed, Flex shareholders will own about 19.9% of the combined company, which will be renamed Salarius Pharmaceuticals Inc. and be led by the private company's management team. Flex shareholders will also have a right to receive warrants six months and one day after close that allow them to buy new shares. "Based on our diligence, we believe Salarius could be poised to advance multiple potential product opportunities that address significant unmet needs in oncology," Flex Chief Executive William McVicar said in a statement. Salarius' main product candidate, Seclidemstat, targets the epigenetic dysregulation underlying Ewing sarcoma, a devastating pediatric, adolescent and young adult bone cancer for which no targeted therapies currently exist, according to the statement. Flex shares were halted premarket for the news, but have fallen 89% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has fallen 10%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.