Checkmate Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CMPI) shares are up 300% after the clinical-stage company focusing on novel tech harnessing the immune system’s power in the fight against cancer announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN). Regeneron will acquire Checkmate’s common shares for $10.5 per share for almost $250 million.
Checkmate’s vidutolimod is a TLR9 experimental product
Currently, Checkmate’s lead experimental product is vidutolimod, an advanced generation CpG-A oligodeoxynucleotide Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist administered in a virus-like particle.
Vidutolimod is an experimental therapy that is yet to receive US FDA approval or any other regulatory body. It is a monotherapy that is injected into the tumor area and is thought to activate and grow anti-tumor T cells and promote tumor shrinkage in patients whose cancers had previously advanced on PD-1 checkpoint suppression.
The acquisition of Checkmate will add a new promising modality to Regeneron’s pipeline of potential cancer-treating approaches as the company expands and advances its research initiatives in immune-oncology
CEO Regeneron Leonard Schleifer said:
The unique combination of a differentiated Toll-like receptor 9 with other antibody-based oncology agents may increase clinical benefit and provide new treatment options for patients in need. We look forward to welcoming the Checkmate team and their complementary scientific acumen to the Regeneron family.
The agreement allows Regeneration to launch a bid to purchase Checkmate
The merger contract allows Regeneron to launch a bid to buy all of Checkmate’s shares outstanding via a subsidiary. The takeover bid will be subject to numerous requirements, including the offer for a majority of Checkmate’s common stock. Checkmate CEO and President Alan Bash said:
We are thrilled that Checkmate will become part of Regeneron, a biotechnology leader that shares our deep appreciation for science, hunger for ground-breaking discoveries and commitment to helping patients defeat cancer.
Art Krieg, the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Checkmate, commented:
We believe that the data we have generated with vidutolimod positions Checkmate at the forefront of the innate immune activator field. It is our hope that Regeneron’s resources and expertise will help accelerate the development of vidutolimod and realization of the full potential of our virus-like particle (VLP) platform for immunotherapy.