NEW YORK – September 21, 2015 – Deerfield Management Company announced today that it will finance Akari Therapeutics, the new company created through the Celsus Therapeutics Plc (NASDAQ: CLTX) acquisition of Volution Immuno Pharmaceuticals SA. The transaction values the combined company on a fully diluted basis at approximately $150 million.
Akari plans to use the anticipated net proceeds from the private placement for the clinical development of Coversin, Volution’s lead molecule, and for working capital and general corporate purposes. Coversin is under development to treat complement-mediated disorders in several therapeutic areas including hematology, nephrology, and neurology. Complement-mediated disorders are orphan indications and advancement of new options in this area could be life-changing for the individuals living with these diseases.
“We are excited to partner with Akari and believe Coversin has the potential to be a best-in-class C5 inhibitor with a convenient administration profile and distinct advantages in certain indications,” said Jean Kim partner, Deerfield Management. “We believe that Akari has assembled a strong team to develop this asset in a thoughtful and aggressive manner to reach patients and the market quickly.”
“Deerfield is the ideal lead investor for our newly formed company, Akari. Deerfield has a long track record of supporting innovative biotechnology companies and we are encouraged by their confidence in Akari to drive the full potential of our lead asset, Coversin,” said Gur Roshwalb, CEO of Akari. “With this financing, Akari now has enough resources to advance our corporate and clinical goals, while providing us with additional flexibility to pursue opportunities that could further propel the value of the company.”
About Akari Therapeutics Plc
Akari is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics to treat orphan autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Akari’s lead drug, Coversin is a second-generation complement inhibitor that acts on complement component-C5, preventing release of C5a and formation of C5b-9 (also known as the membrane attack complex or MAC). C5 inhibition is growing in importance in a range of rare autoimmune diseases related to dysregulation of the complement component of the immune system, including paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS), and Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS).
Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy.
For more information, please visit www.deerfield.com.
Deerfield Management Company
Karen Heidelberger, 212-692-7140