Cancer focused biopharmaceutical company, Unum Therapeutics (UMRX.Q) completed their acquisition of biotech company Kiq LLC today.

Kiq works on the discovery and development of kinase inhibitors. Umum bought and paid for this acquisition using $104.4 million they raised during a private placement of convertible Preferred Stock. The proceeds also went to advance clinical testing of PLX9486, their experimental drug involved in the treatment of systemic mastocytosis.

“Unum has explored a range of strategic alternatives through an orderly process to maximize shareholder value, and we believe this acquisition represents the highest-potential value creation opportunity for Unum stockholders. We are excited by Kiq’s lead clinical program and the potential to build a pipeline of novel kinase inhibitors while continuing to explore strategic opportunities for our cell-based therapy programs. As the science develops, we will continue to drive forward our mission of developing novel, best-in-class therapeutics for patients with the greatest need, and we thank our Board members, past and present, along with our investors for their support and commitment,” said Chuck Wilson, PhD, president and CEO of Unum.

PLX9486 will be the focus of studies in monotherapy in patients with Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis and Indolent Systemic Mastocytosis. Mastocytosis is a disorder that happens when you have an overload of mast cells in your body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Mast cells normally protect you from disease and aid in healing wounds. If the cells build up in your skin, bone marrow, and other places, they can release substances that overwhelm the body and cause symptoms like facial flushing, itching, rapid heartbeat, abdominal cramps, lightheadedness and even cause you to lose consciousness.

The goal is to demonstrate a best-in-class clinical profile. This type of therapy performed well during their Phase 1/2 trial in patients with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumours.

Worldwide development and commercialization rights for PLX9486 were exclusively licensed by Kiq from Plexxikon Inc, a member of the Daiichi Sankyo Group. The terms of the agreement including Plexxikon receiving payment upfront, and retaining eligibility for additional developmental milestones and royalty payments.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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Mayo Clinic
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