M&A

Vaxart reverse merges its way onto Nasdaq, climbing aboard the Aviragen shell

Vaxart says it’s about to unveil positive results from an early-stage study of a new vaccine, and it’s celebrating with a reverse merger onto Nasdaq that will help pay for what’s ahead.

Vaxart’s chosen shell vehicle for this deal — which comes at a time a long lineup of biotechs have been filing IPOs — is Aviragen Therapeutics, which saw its stock pummeled by back-to-back trial failures early this year. Aviragen’s stock was left in penny stock territory, and the traditional strategic review in the face of a crisis blazed a path to the reverse merger.

Wouter Latour

The deal leaves South San Francisco-based Vaxart investors with 60% of the company, along with some anti-viral assets from Aviragen it’s interested in pursuing. The best bit is their BTA074 Phase II 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.

Vaxart’s main claim to fame is developing new oral vaccines that are intended to replace the injectables in use. Their program for VXA-G1.1-NN hit its marks in a study for health volunteers, according to the company, with a mid-stage study norovirus challenge coming up.

Vaxart will soon start trading under the $VXRT symbol. And Vaxart CEO Wouter Latour will be at the helm of the combined company.

Said Latour in a statement:

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.


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