Aviragen Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: AVIR) is having an overwhelmingly interesting day in the market today, and for good reason. The company announced a merger agreement, originally causing excitement and sending the stock screaming for the top. However, since the opening bell, the stock has been on a downward trend, giving up all the pre-market gains and ultimately dropping into the red. Of course, our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to alert us to the movement. At the moment (10:10), AVIR is trading at $0.82 per share after a loss of $0.01 per share (0.64%) thus far today.
AVIR Announces Merger Agreement
As mentioned above, Aviragen Therapeutics is having an interesting start to the trading session this morning after the company announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement. Under the merger agreement, Vaxart, Inc., a privately-held clinical-stage company that’s focused on the development of recombinant vaccines will be merging with AVIR. The new, combined company will have the name Vaxart, Inc. and will be focused on developing orally-delivered therapeutics and prophylactics for the treatment of viral infections.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, $60 million in value has been assigned to AVIR for its financial and clinical assets, while $90 million has been assigned to Vaxart as a result of its assets. On a pro-forma basis, after giving effect to the number of shares of Aviragen common stock issued in the merger, Vaxart’s securityholders will own about 60% of the combined company, which will trade on the NASDAQ under the proposed ticker symbol “VXRT.” In a statement, Wouter Latour, M.D., CEO At Vaxart, had the following to offer:
“We are thrilled with the prospect of combining forces with Aviragen, which will create a deep pipeline of antiviral products and allow Vaxart to accelerate development of the promising vaccine candidates that are based in our proprietary oral delivery platform. This transaction gives us the opportunity to build on the positive Phase 2 challenge study results we announced recently for our influenza oral tablet vaccine, as well as the excellent results we obtained in the safety and immunogenicity studies with our norovirus vaccine. Additionally, it will provide us access to Aviragen’s antiviral assets, including their BTA074 Phase 2 program for the treatment of condyloma caused by HPV, which is on track to complete enrollment this quarter and to report top-line safety and efficacy data in the second quarter of 2018.”
The above statement was followed up by Joseph M. Patti, Ph.D., President and CEO at AVIR. Here’s what he had to say:
“After a comprehensive review of our strategic alternatives, we are delighted to announce this transaction with Vaxart, which will complement Aviragen’s focus on infectious diseases and position us to create both near and long-term value for our shareholders. Vaxart is well-funded to advance its norovirus and HPV antiviral vaccine programs, and together with BTA074, the combined companies are poised to provide meaningful value-creating data readouts.”
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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead
Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will continue to keep a close eye on AVIR. In particular, we’re interested in following the merger, as it is still subject to customary closing conditions. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!
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