Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

RXi Pharmaceuticals signs option deal to buy MirImmune

PBR Staff Writer Published 13 October 2016

RXi Pharmaceuticals has signed an option agreement to acquire MirImmune, a privately held biopharmaceutical firm engaged in the development of new generation immunotherapies for cancer.

RXi is a clinical-stage RNAi firm focused on the development of new therapeutics to solve significant unmet medical needs.

As per the deal terms, RXi would issue stock equal to 19.99% of its outstanding shares and additional consideration tied to milestones. The company has until 5 April 2017 to exercise the option.

The option deal comes a year and a half after MirImmune signed an exclusive license agreement for RXi's novel sd-rxRNA technology for use in developing cell-based cancer immunotherapies.

If RXi exercises its option to buy MirImmune, the purchase will expand RXi's pipeline to include immuno-oncology with the use of its sd-rxRNA platform.

RXi said MirImmune’s progress in cell therapy using its RNAi technology forms a strong foundation for therapeutic development in the immuno-oncology space.

MirImmune CEO Alexey Eliseev said: “We treat therapeutic immune cells with RNAi compounds ex-vivo to knock down immune checkpoints, such as PD-1, LAG-3 and others. This treatment boosts the anti-tumor activity of the cells when they are subsequently administered to the patients.”

MirImmune aims to develop sd-rxRNA as an effective alternative to gene editing of the immune cells or checkpoint blockade with monoclonal antibodies.

RXi Pharmaceuticals president and CEO Geert Cauwenbergh said: "This acquisition would not only allow us to create value for our shareholders; it more importantly sets the stage for what could potentially be a transformational change in the way we treat patients with various malignancies, including solid tumors.”

Image: RXi Pharmaceuticals signs option agreement to acquire MirImmune. Photo: courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.