Wednesday, July 10, 2013

California Stem Cell Merger: Capricor and Niles Therapeutics

Capricor, Inc., a Beverly Hills company benefiting from $27 million from the California stem cell agency, this week announced that it is merging with Niles Therapeutic, Inc., of San Mateo.

Linda Marban
Capricor photo
The Capricor story and its treatment for heart disease have been highlighted (see here and here) by the $3 billion state research agency, which is partially funding a clinical trial for the firm. The firm sprang from work by Eduardo Marban of Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, one of Capricor's founders. He received $6.9 million for his early and current work. Capricor was awarded $19.8 million more.

Capricor, a privately held firm, and the publicly traded Niles announced on Monday that they were merging. The new company will be known as Capricor Therapeutics, Inc., and will be based in San Mateo.
The new firm will be publicly traded with Capricor CEO Linda Marban as the new CEO.

The new board of directors will have two members from Niles and seven from Capricor, including its executive chairman, Frank Litvack, who was an unsuccessful candidate for chairman of the stem cell agency board in 2011.

The merger press release said that the new company “should have better access to capital, more potential for steady pipeline development and more risk diversification."

On completion of the merger, a joint press release said,
Nile will issue to Capricor stockholders shares of Nile common stock such that Capricor stockholders will own approximately 90% of the combined company's outstanding shares, and Nile stockholders will own approximately 10%, calculated in each case on a fully-diluted basis assuming the issuance of shares underlying options and warrants. Options of Capricor will be assumed by Nile and become options to acquire stock of Nile.”
Linda Marban said,
"Capricor's and Nile's product portfolios complement each other well, as our therapies will address both the underlying causes and debilitating effects of heart disease. Capricor's CDCs are allogeneic cardiac derived stem cells that aim to attenuate and potentially improve damage to the heart that can result in heart failure, while Nile's cenderitide is intended to treat patients following hospital discharge from an acute episode of heart failure."
Niles' stock price stood at $0.04 recently. Its 52 week high was $0.20 and the 52-week low was $0.02.
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