Regeneron Pharma To Buy Checkmate Pharmaceuticals In $250 Mln All Cash Deal

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN) announced Tuesday its agreement to acquire Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CMPI) at an all-cash price of $10.50 per Checkmate share.

In pre-market activity on Nasdaq, Checkmate shares were gaining around 18.1 percent to trade at $2.87.

The proposed acquisition values Checkmate, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on cancer, at a total equity value of approximately $250 million.

Under the deal, Regeneron, through a subsidiary, will initiate a tender offer to acquire Checkmate shares. The closing of the tender offer will be subject to certain conditions, including the tender of at least a majority of shares, the expiration of the waiting period and other customary closing conditions.

Upon the successful completion of the tender offer, Regeneron will acquire all remaining shares through a second-step merger. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2022.

Checkmate’s lead investigational candidate is vidutolimod, an advanced generation CpG-A oligodeoxynucleotide Toll-like receptor 9 or TLR9 agonist delivered in a virus-like particle. Vidutolimod is currently being studied in combination with other agents for melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and head and neck cancer.

Vidutolimod is administered into the tumor and is believed to induce and expand anti-tumor T cells and induce tumor regression as a monotherapy in patients whose tumors previously progressed on PD-1 checkpoint inhibition.

Vidutolimod is an investigational therapy and has not been approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration or any other regulatory agency.

Art Krieg, Checkmate’s Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, said, “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.”

In the deal, Regeneron’s legal advisor is Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Centerview Partners is serving as Checkmate’s financial advisor and Goodwin Procter LLP is serving as its legal advisor.

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