Co­hBar, Mor­pho­gen­e­sis link up in re­verse merg­er of two can­cer biotechs

The can­cer-fo­cused Bay Area biotech Co­hBar is en­ter­ing in­to a re­verse merg­er with the pri­vate­ly-held biotech Mor­pho­gen­e­sis.

On Tues­day, Co­hBar and Mor­pho­gen­e­sis an­nounced the all-stock trans­ac­tion. The new­ly com­bined com­pa­ny will op­er­ate un­der the name TuHU­RA Bio­sciences and trade on the Nas­daq. The deal is ex­pect­ed to close in the third quar­ter.

TuHU­RA, which will be based in Tam­pa, FL, will fo­cus on ad­vanc­ing three prod­ucts based on Mor­pho­gen­e­sis tech­nolo­gies de­signed to treat can­cer. Two are per­son­al­ized can­cer vac­cines, which aim to ac­ti­vate an in­nate im­mune re­sponse against pa­tient-spe­cif­ic tu­mor anti­gens. The com­pa­ny is prepar­ing for a Phase II/III tri­al in 2024 of its lead can­cer vac­cine, de­signed to act as an ad­junct to Mer­ck’s Keytru­da in ad­vanced Merkel cell car­ci­no­ma. It is al­so look­ing to ad­vance its oth­er mR­NA-based vac­cine to treat ag­gres­sive dif­fuse large B-cell lym­phoma. Mor­pho­gen­e­sis’ oth­er prod­uct, called Tu­mor Mi­croen­vi­ron­ment Mod­u­la­tor, is de­signed to ad­dress re­sis­tance of im­munother­a­pies.

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