Unum Therapeutics acquires kinase inhibitors developer Kiq

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Unum Therapeutics, a US biopharma company, has acquired Kiq, a biotech company focused on the discovery and development of precision kinase inhibitors, in an all-stock deal.

Focused on developing therapies for solid tumors, Unum Therapeutics, through the deal gains access to a clinical-stage compound called PLX9486, which is a selective KIT D816V inhibitor. PLX9486 will be evaluated as a monotherapy in patients having advanced systemic mastocytosis (ASM) and indolent systemic mastocytosis (ISM).

The KIT D816V inhibitor is said to have shown promising clinical activity in a phase 1/2 trial in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).

The global rights to develop and commercialize PLX9486 were licensed exclusively by Kiq from Plexxikon, a member of the Daiichi Sankyo Group. As per the agreement terms, Plexxikon was given an upfront payment, and is also eligible for additional developmental milestones and royalty payments.

Besides the acquisition, Unum Therapeutics has signed agreements for a PIPE investment with existing and new investors to raise an amount of $104.4 million. As per the agreements, the investors will be issued shares of Series A Preferred Stock priced at $880 per share.

The capital raised from the private placement will be used by the US biopharma company to advance clinical testing of PLX9486 in multiple indications apart from offering runway beyond 2022.

Chuck Wilson – President and CEO of Unum Therapeutics said: “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.”

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