Cell and gene therapy company Fibrocell Science Inc. (FCSC:NASDAQ), which focuses on transformational autologous cell-based therapies for skin and connective tissue diseases, announced it has reached an agreement to be acquired by Castle Creek Pharmaceutical Holdings Inc., the parent company of Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals LLC.
Under the terms of the agreement, Castle Creek will acquire Fibrocell for approximately $63.3 million, including repayment of debt and other financial instruments, in cash. Fibrocell common stockholders will receive all-cash consideration of $3.00 per share. Fibrocell reports that the offer represents a 63% premium to Fibrocell's 30-day volume weighted average price as of September 11, 2019. The transaction has already been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies and is expected to close in Q4/19 subject to customary closing conditions, including Fibrocell shareholder approval. Upon completion of the transaction, Fibrocell will become a privately held subsidiary of Castle Creek with Fibrocell's employees continuing as employees of the combined company.
Fibrocell's president and CEO John Maslowski commented on the sale, "We are incredibly pleased to announce this transaction, which we believe is in the best interests of both shareholders and patients...We believe that combining with Castle Creek has a strong strategic rationale, as they have the expertise and resources necessary to continue the development of both FCX-007 and FCX-013, potentially bringing these and additional novel products to patients in need."
Greg Wujek, CEO of Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals, stated, "Following our licensing agreement to develop and commercialize FCX-007, our experience working together on rare dermatological conditions caused us to quickly realize that Castle Creek and Fibrocell could achieve even greater synergies by combining the companies into one...With Castle Creek's resources, Fibrocell's gene therapy platform can be advanced into additional areas of high, unmet need with the potential to develop multiple promising new therapies."
Fibrocell's portfolio includes FCX-007 and FCX-013. FCX-007 is an investigational, late-stage stage gene therapy product candidate for the treatment of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), a congenital and progressive orphan skin disease caused by the deficiency of the protein COL7. A Phase 3 trial was initiated recently, and if successful, a Biologics License Application (BLA) filing is expected in 2021. The company states that FCX-007 has been granted Orphan Drug designation, Rare Pediatric Disease designation, Fast Track designation and Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) designation by the FDA. FCX-013 is described as an investigational, gene therapy candidate for the treatment of moderate to severe localized scleroderma. FCX-013 is an autologous fibroblast genetically modified using lentivirus and encoded for matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1), a protein responsible for breaking down collagen. FCX-013 is currently enrolling for the Phase 1 portion of a Phase 1/2 clinical trial. The firm advises that the FDA has granted Orphan Drug designation, Rare Pediatric Disease designation and Fast Track designation to FCX-013.
These product candidates are expected to augment Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals' CCP-020, an investigational, late-stage topical ointment under development for the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa simplex, further strengthening Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals as a leader in dermatology.
Castle Creek Pharmaceutical Holdings is a privately held holding company that holds and invests in companies in the orphan dermatology space. It s subsidiary Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies for patients with rare, serious or debilitating dermatologic conditions. The firm states that it is dedicated to developing and bringing novel therapies to those living with epidermolysis bullosa.
Fibrocell notes that it is a cell and gene therapy company focused on improving the lives of people with rare diseases of the skin and connective tissue by utilizing its proprietary autologous fibroblast technology to develop personalized biologics that target the underlying cause of disease.
FCSC shares opened much higher today at $2.92 (+$1.09, +59.56%) over yesterday close of $1.83. Since the open shares have traded on high volume in a very narrow trading range of $2.92–2.95/share and are currently trading at $2.92 (+$1.09 +59.56%).[NLINSERT]
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