Novus Therapeutics (NVUS) surges 166% on acquisition of Anelixis Therapeutics

Novus Therapeutics (NVUS) announced that it is acquiring Anelixis Therapeutics resulting in a jump of 166% today.

Novus Therapeutics will acquire Anelixis Therapeutics, a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company developing a next generation anti-CD40 Ligand (CD40L) antibody as a potential treatment for organ and cellular transplantation, autoimmune diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Concurrent with the acquisition of Anelixis, Novus entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of non-voting convertible preferred stock (preferred stock) in a private placement to a group of institutional accredited investors led by BVF Partners L.P., with participation from Cormorant Asset Management, Ecor1 Capital, Logos Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Adage Capital Partners L.P., Woodline Partners LP, Ridgeback Capital, Janus Henderson Investors, and Samsara BioCapital, as well as additional investors.

The private placement is expected to result in gross proceeds to Novus of approximately $108 million before deducting placement agent and other offering expenses. The proceeds from the private placement will be used to fund the company’s operations, including to advance Phase 2 clinical trials of AT-1501, a humanized IgG1 anti-CD40L antibody with high affinity for CD40L, in renal transplantation, islet cell transplantation, autoimmune nephritis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

We are excited about AT-1501 and the potential to develop and commercialize the next generation anti-CD40L antibody, a well-validated target with broad therapeutic possibilities, After exploring a range of strategic options to maximize shareholder value, we believe this acquisition represents the greatest value creation opportunity for Novus stockholders, and we are confident that we have the management and scientific leadership team to fully realize this opportunity for patients in need of new treatment options.

 Keith A. Katkin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Novus

Novus Therapeutics (NVUS) new leadership and organization

Novus announced its Board of Directors has previously appointed David-Alexandre “DA” C. Gros, M.D. to serve as Chief Executive Officer and Director. Dr. Gros joins Novus from Imbria Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he served as Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director.

Prior to Imbria, Dr. Gros was President and Chief Operating Officer of Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., Chief Business and Principal Financial Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Chief Strategy Officer of Sanofi, S.A.

Before Sanofi, Dr. Gros held leadership positions in healthcare investment banking at Centerview Partners, LLC, and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., and in healthcare consulting at McKinsey & Company. Dr. Gros earned a Doctor of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, and a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College.

I am both thrilled and humbled to join the Novus management team and Board during this new phase of the company’s evolution, as we prepare to initiate multiple Phase 2 trials for AT-1501, Through this acquisition and financing, we now have the scientific, organizational and financial resources to build upon a deep historical understanding of the CD40/CD40L pathway, as well as Anelixis’ preclinical and Phase 1 data, to address the needs of people undergoing organ or cellular transplantation, or living with autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr. Gros

Joining Dr. Gros on the Novus management team and Board of Directors is Steven Perrin, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Anelixis, who will take on the role of President and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Perrin brings 20 years of drug development experience to Novus, having held R&D positions at the Hoechst-Ariad Genomics Center, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Biogen Idec, Inc. Over the past decade, Dr. Perrin has worked with the ALS Therapy Development Institute to develop the world’s largest ALS drug development program, bridging preclinical and clinical programs. Dr. Perrin received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Boston University Medical Center, where he also started his career as Associate Professor of Medicine, and a Bachelor of Science from Boston College.

The activation of CD40/CD40L signaling is critical to mediating antibody and cellular inflammatory response. We are developing antibodies to inhibit the activation of this pathway with the hope of offering new treatment modalities for people living with conditions such as autoimmune nephritis and ALS, or those requiring a potentially life-saving transplant, I have dedicated my career to developing better medicines for these patients and their families, and I look forward to working with the team to advance these clinical programs.

Dr. Perrin

Concurrent with the acquisition, former Anelixis Chairman of the Board Walter Ogier has been appointed to the Novus Board of Directors. Mr. Ogier has more than 30 years of experience developing therapeutic medical products ranging from pharmaceuticals to medical devices, stem and immune cell therapies, and gene therapies. He has served in multiple CEO roles including Genetix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now bluebird bio, Inc.) and Acetylon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which Celgene Corporation acquired in 2016. In addition to Novus, he serves as a director of Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Thetis Pharmaceuticals, LLC, and Nemucore Medical Innovations, Inc., and as Board advisor to Kodikaz Therapeutic Solutions, Inc., and ME Therapeutics, Inc.

Novus Board members will also include Keith A. Katkin, Chairman of the Board; Gary A. Lyons; and John S. McBride. The company will continue to maintain its executive offices in Irvine, Calif. and will have research and development facilities in Boston, Mass.

Should you invest in Novus Therapeutics (NVUS)?

Shares of Novus (NVUS) appear to be a very good investment option, the Money Midnight Indicator is expecting its price to increase considerably in the next several months. The majority of the metrics point to this investment being highly attractive.

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Jay Lorrence
Jay Lorrence

Investor of 12 years and Managing Editor of Money Midnight, a news outlet focused on highly profitable investment ideas and bold underground research.

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