Neoleukin completes merger with Aquinox Pharmaceuticals

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US biopharma company Neoleukin Therapeutics has wrapped up a previously announced merger with Canadian pharma company Aquinox Pharmaceuticals.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Aquinox Pharmaceuticals focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics for conditions related to inflammation, inflammatory pain, and blood cancers.

On the other hand, Neoleukin creates next-generation immunotherapies by using its de novo protein design technology, a computational technology that was licensed from the Institute for Protein Design and the University of Washington.

The merger is expected to give additional capital to Neoleukin to prepare for an IND submission, create clinical data, develop more preclinical programs, and advance its computational technology.

Neoleukin Aquinox merger

Neoleukin completes previously announced merger with Aquinox Pharmaceuticals. Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles/

The combined company will operate as Neoleukin Therapeutics with corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington. It will be engaged on the development and commercialization of computationally-designed protein therapeutics to address the largely unmet medical needs in immuno-oncology, autoimmunity, and inflammation.

The lead product candidate of Neoleukin – NL-201 is a de novo protein that has been designed to mimic the therapeutic activity of the cytokines interleukin-2 and interleukin-15 for the treatment of different forms of cancer by triggering the T-cells and also the NK-cells to fight cancer while curbing toxicity with minimal loss of activity.

As per the deal announced earlier this month, Aquinox acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Neoleukin in exchange of its 4,589,787 newly issued shares. Former Aquinox shareholders will hold nearly 61.42% stake of the combined company with the remaining 38.58% stake to be owned by the original Neoleukin stockholders.

David J. Main – President & CEO of Aquinox said: “Since announcing our plans to seek and consider strategic alternatives for Aquinox, our priority has been to identify a merger candidate we believe has the potential to continue our mission to help patients and provide meaningful value to our stockholders.

“Following an extensive evaluation and diligence process, the Aquinox Board of Directors concluded that a merger with Neoleukin, with a strong platform technology, seasoned leadership team, and compelling clinical development plan, offered an excellent opportunity to create such value.”

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