Advaxis (ADXS.Q), a clinical-stage biotechnology company, and Biosight, a privately held pharmaceutical development company developing innovative therapeutics for hematological malignancies and disorders, announced today that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement.
“We believe the combined company’s strong and diversified oncology pipeline with late stage and early stage assets, near-term milestones, seasoned leadership team and focus on both hematological malignancies and solid tumors have the potential to provide transformative benefits to patients while also providing value to our stockholders,” stated Kenneth A. Berlin, President, Chief Executive Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer of Advaxis.
Are you sick of hearing about biotech companies yet? Well, I’m not and neither should you! After all, the global biotechnology market is expected to reach a whopping USD$2.44 trillion by 2028, expanding at a CAGR of 15.83% from 2021 to 2028. It is also worth noting that North America held the largest share of 44.19% in the biotech market in 2020. How do you like them apples? With that being said, now is as good a time as any to start scouting for promising biotechnology companies and Advaxis might just be one of those companies. Here’s why.
As previously mentioned, Advaxis is a clinical-stage biotechnology company. The Company is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of proprietary Listeria monocytogenes (Lm)-based antigen delivery products. These immunotherapies are based on a platform techonology that utilizes Lm bioengineered to secrete antigen/adjuvant fusion proteins. In doing so, this in intended to access and direct antigen presenting cells to stimulate anti-tumor T-cell immunity, activate the immune system, and simultaneously reduce tumor defenses enabling T cells to eliminate said tumor. In other words, Advaxis is committed to creating a kickass pipeline of products to combat tumors associated with cancer. Currently, the Company’s ADXS-503 for Lung Cancer and ADXS-PSA for Prostate Cancer are undergoing Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials, respectively.
However, the proposed merger between Advaxis and Biosight will create a public company that will prioritize the clinical advancement and commercialization of Biosight’s lead product, aspacytarabine (BST-236). BST-236 refers to Biosight’s novel anti-metabolite, intended for applications in leukemia treatment for medically unfit patients or older adults who would otherwise only receive low-dose Cytarabine-based chemotherapy. Cytarabine-based chemotherapy is associated with a variety of severe side effects, leading to high treatment-related mortality rates. With this in mind, BST-236 is intended to provide a safer alternative for patients suffering with Leukemia.
Recent data presented at ASCO showed that BST-236 achieved complete remission rates of 39% across all evaluable patients with 63% of cases with negative minimal residual disease (MDR) and median overall survival of 10 months at present. The planned company intends to advance its pipeline through multiple clinical trials, and anticipates milestones over the next 12 to 18 months. Following the merger’s closing, which is expected to occur in the second half of 2021, Advaxis will be renamed Biosight Therapeutics and is expected to trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol “BSTX”. Moreover, the combined company is expected to have approximately $50 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at closing.
If this merger is successful Biosight Therapeutics will bring a diverse and innovative portfolio of products to the biotech and pharmaceuticals market. Advaxis shows promise and striking while the iron is hot may prove profitable for investors looking to get their foot in the rapidly expanding biotech sector.
Advaxis’ share price opened at $0.65, up from a previous close of $0.47. The Company’s shares are up 43% and are currently trading at $0.68 as of 11:47AM ET. This indicates that there has been significant change following the news.