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PharmAthene to Merge with Theraclone to Continue Developing mAbs, Vaccines

By Zachary Brennan , 14-Aug-2013

PharmAthene and Theraclone Sciences announced plans to merge and continue the joint development of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and vaccines on the verge of progressing to Phase II and III trials.

The combined company will focus on infectious diseases, oncology and feature four preclinical programs, discovery candidates and three partnered products, including one with Pfizer.

Following the merger, the combined company's clinical stage product candidates will include:

  • TCN-202 CMV Antibody, which is a broadly-neutralizing mAb in development for the prevention and treatment of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections. TCN-202 has completed a Phase I trial and a  Phase II study in solid organ transplant is scheduled to begin later this year; 
  • TCN-032 Influenza Antibody, a broadly-protective mAb developed for the treatment of pandemic and severe seasonal influenza.  TCN-032 has completed a Phase IIa clinical trial, with results expected to be announced later this year;
  • SparVax Anthrax Vaccine, a recombinant protective antigen (rPA) being developed for pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis of anthrax infection, with a market potential of more than $1B.  One Phase I and two Phase II clinical trials involving 770 subjects have been completed, though an additional Phase II trial is planned to begin this year; and
  • Valortim Anthrax Anti-Toxin, a fully human mAb intended for the prevention and treatment of anthrax infection that has completed two Phase I trials.

Theraclone’s current chief executive officer, Clifford Stocks, is expected to serve as the chief executive officer of the combined company, while Theraclone CFO Russ Hawkinson will serve as the new CFO.

The combined company, which will merge in an all-stock transaction, plans to secure additional US government funding for SparVax in Q4 of this year, according to a presentation on the merger .

Eric Richman, president and CEO of PharmAthene, said, "The combined company also expects to be able to leverage non-dilutive government funding sources to support ongoing and future product development efforts, with the possibility to receive a share of revenues from sales of SIGA Technologies' smallpox antiviral, Arestvyr.  As a stronger company, with expanded access to non-dilutive funding, we expect to be solidly financed through resolution of the SIGA litigation."

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