John Taylor, new Idera Pharmaceuticals CEO

As lead drug flopped and Ab­b­Vie col­lab dis­solved, can­cer biotech re­sorts to buy­ing rare dis­ease com­pa­ny

Ever since dis­ap­point­ing late-stage da­ta on its can­cer drug tanked Idera Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals’ stock last year (un­helped by an ill-fat­ed col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ab­b­Vie), ex­ecs have been tight­en­ing the belt while search­ing for some­thing — any­thing — that may dig the com­pa­ny out of its hole.

More than a year lat­er, they fi­nal­ly found it.

In an ac­qui­si­tion that is rem­i­nis­cent of a re­verse merg­er, Idera is buy­ing pri­vate biotech Ac­er­a­gen in an all-stock deal. In­stead of can­cer, Idera will now be fo­cused on rare, or­phan pul­monary and rheumat­ic dis­eases. Specif­i­cal­ly, it’s plac­ing its hopes on ACG-701 in cys­tic fi­bro­sis and me­lioi­do­sis, and ACG-801 in Far­ber dis­ease.

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