Novo Nordisk to Acquire Emisphere Technologies for $1.35B

Emisphere Technologies, Inc. (“Emisphere” or the “Company”) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S (“Novo Nordisk”), whereby Novo Nordisk will acquire Emisphere, on a cash-free, debt-free basis, for $1.35 billion in cash. The consideration to be paid per share will depend on the amount of cash and debt at closing, but the Company currently estimates it to be approximately $7.82 per share based on approximately 170.9 million fully diluted shares outstanding. Emisphere is a drug delivery company that utilises its proprietary technologies to develop new oral formulations of therapeutic agents.

Ocuphire Pharma Completes Transactions and Begins Trading on Nasdaq as OCUP

Ocuphire Pharma, Inc., a clinical-stage ophthalmic biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing therapies for the treatment of several eye disorders, is pleased to announce the completion of its previously announced merger with Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NasdaqCM: REXN). The combined company will operate under the name Ocuphire Pharma. Its shares will commence trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market and will reflect a 1-for-4 reverse stock split at the open of trading on November 6, 2020, under the ticker symbol “OCUP”. In addition, the Company has announced the closing of the previously announced $21.15 million private placement, with certain institutional healthcare investors led by Altium Capital, accredited investors, and directors and officers of Ocuphire (the “Investors”).

Pappas Capital Portfolio Company VelosBio to Be Acquired by Merck

Pappas Capital, a leading venture capital firm focused on advancing life sciences, today announced that its portfolio company, VelosBio Inc. (“VelosBio” or the “Company”), has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a subsidiary of Merck (NYSE: MRK) for $2.75 billion in cash, subject to customary adjustments. The exit is amongst Pappas Capital’s most successful in its 25-plus-year history. VelosBio is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing first-in-class cancer therapies targeting receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 1 (ROR1). Pappas Capital first invested in VelosBio in 2018 as part of the Company’s $58 million Series A financing. Encouraged by the strong potential of VelosBio’s novel therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers, Pappas Capital subsequently participated in the Company’s $137 million Series B financing in July 2020.

Mylan and Pfizer Receive Clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for Proposed Combination of Mylan and Upjohn

Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) accepted a proposed consent order, which concludes the FTC’s review of the proposed combination of Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn Business. The parties have now obtained all required antitrust clearances for the proposed transaction. The combination will be effected through a Reverse Morris Trust transaction, pursuant to which Upjohn Inc. will be spun off to Pfizer’s stockholders by way of a pro rata distribution and immediately thereafter combined with Mylan. Pfizer has set the close of business on November 13, 2020 as the record date for this proposed spin-off. The combination is expected to close on November 16, 2020, at which time the combined company will be renamed Viatris Inc.

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals Announces Stockholder Approval of All Proposals Required for Merger with Ocuphire Pharma

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:REXN) (“Rexahn”) announced today that at its special meeting of stockholders held on November 2, 2020, Rexahn’s stockholders approved all of the proposals presented, including the issuance of shares of Rexahn common stock pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger and Reorganization, dated June 17, 2020, as amended, by and among Rexahn, Razor Merger Sub, Inc. and Ocuphire Pharma, Inc. (“Ocuphire”) and the change of control of Rexahn resulting from the merger.

Retrophin Announces Agreement to Acquire Orphan Technologies

Retrophin, Inc. (NASDAQ: RTRX) announced Thursday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Orphan Technologies Limited, a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of product candidate OT-58 for the treatment of classical homocystinuria (HCU). OT-58 is a novel investigational enzyme replacement therapy being evaluated in Phase 1/2 development for the treatment of classical HCU, a rare metabolic disorder characterized by elevated levels of plasma homocysteine that can lead to life-threatening thrombotic events such as stroke and heart attacks, ophthalmologic and skeletal complications, as well as developmental delay.

Gilead Sciences Completes Acquisition of Immunomedics, Inc.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) today announced the completion of the previously announced transaction to acquire Immunomedics, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMMU) for approximately $21 billion in the aggregate. “We are very pleased to reach today’s milestone and to welcome the talented Immunomedics team to the Gilead family. There is a lot of important work ahead of us to deliver on the vast potential that Trodelvy offers for patients with cancer,” said Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences. “Together we will bring Trodelvy to many more patients around the world with triple-negative breast cancer and continue to explore its potential in many other types of cancer, both as a monotherapy and in combination with other treatments.”

DermBiont Announces Acquisition of SeylanMED

DermBiont, Inc., a clinical stage precision dermatology company targeting skin diseases at their root cause has expanded its pipeline and therapeutic modalities with the acquisition of SeylanMED, Inc. “This strategic acquisition delivers multi-factorial value,” said Karl Beutner, MD, PhD, Co-founder, CEO, and CMO of DermBiont. “It expands our therapeutic pipeline with a first-in-class, targeted topical small molecule as well as our mission to address skin diseases at their root cause.” SeylanMED’s lead drug candidate, a topical AKT inhibitor gel, has the potential to be the first patient-applied treatment for seborrheic keratosis. Seborrheic keratosis (SKs) are benign clonal tumors with activating mutations in the RTK-P13K, Akt, mTOR signaling pathway.

Arixa Pharmaceuticals Announces Acquisition by Pfizer’s Hospital Business

Arixa Pharmaceuticals™, Inc., a company dedicated to developing next-generation oral antibiotics for drug-resistant Gram-negative infections today announced that Pfizer’s Hospital Business has agreed to acquire Arixa. Arixa’s lead compound, ARX-1796, is an oral prodrug of avibactam, a beta lactamase inhibitor (BLI) that was FDA-approved in 2015 as part of Avycaz® (sold by Pfizer as Zaficefta® outside the United States), an intravenous-only combination with ceftazidime for the treatment of a number of indications caused by Gram-negative pathogens.

Court Denies Requests to Revisit 340B, Site-Neutral Payment Cases

According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), an appeals court has declined to reconsider two decisions from the summer, which upheld Medicare reimbursement cuts for 340B drugs and for off-campus hospital outpatient clinic visits. The group reported that the Appeals Court declined to rehear a case challenging a nearly 30 percent reimbursement cut under the Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) for certain hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Program. The Appeals Court also refused to rehear a case decided on July 17 concerning the implementation of site-neutral payments for off-campus hospital outpatient clinic visits.