Home Health Care Merger unites Israeli, Westchester biotech firms

Merger unites Israeli, Westchester biotech firms

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Epicept Corp., a Greenburgh-based company developing drugs for the treatment of pain and cancer, has completed its merger with Immune Pharmaceuticals Ltd., an Israeli biotechnology company, in a deal reportedly valued at between $50 million and $60 million.

The new company, Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc., is publicly listed on the Nasdaq OMX Stockholm Exchange. The Israeli company was privately held prior to the merger.

Epicept shareholders in August approved the proposed merger and a 1-for-40 reverse stock split of Epicept’s common stock. For every 40 pre-split shares of Epicept stock, shareholders received one share of common stock in the renamed company.

Immune Pharmaceuticals officials said prior to the closing that Epicept stockholders will own approximately 19 percent of the combined company and Immune shareholders will own approximately 81 percent.

Epicept and Immune officials said the reverse stock split should cause an increase in the price per share of Epicept’s common stock, a requirement for having its shares listed in the future for trading on a national securities exchange in the U.S.  A U.S. stock exchange listing should benefit stockholders by increasing the liquidity of the company’s common stock and making it easier for the company to raise financing in the future through offerings of common stock directly to investors, they said.

The combined company will be focused on developing antibody therapeutics and other targeted drugs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Robert W. Cook, named Epicept’s interim president and CEO in August 2012, will serve as chief financial officer and a director of Immune Pharmaceuticals. Cook previously served eight years as Epicept’s CFO and senior vice president for finance and administration.

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