Akari Therapeutics and Peak Bio announce merger


Biotechnology company Akari Therapeutics and biopharmaceutical company Peak Bio have announced a definitive agreement to merge as equals in an all-stock transaction.

The combined entity will operate as Akari Therapeutics, which is expected to continue to be listed and trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market as AKTX.

Following closing, the company will have an expanded pipeline that contains multiple assets spanning early and late development stages.

The merged pipeline features an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) toolkit with novel payload and linker technologies. By combining chemotherapy with immunotherapy strategies, the company aims to develop new solutions for cancer patients. In addition, the programme includes a novel pre-clinical ADC candidate targeting TROP-2.

A combined pipeline of therapeutic candidates

Akari’s nomacopan is a bispecific recombinant inhibitor of complement C5 and leukotriene B4 (LTB4) being evaluated in a Phase III clinical trial for paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant-related thrombotic microangiopathy (HSCT-TMA).

It has potential to be the first approved treatment for HSCT-TMA, a rare complication of stem cell transplantation that has an 80% mortality rate among severe adult and paediatric patients.

Akari has been granted orphan drug, fast track and rare paediatric disease designations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for nomacopan for the treatment of paediatric HSCT-TMA and orphan drug designation from the European Commission for treatment in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Akari’s long-acting version of nomacopan (PASylated-nomacopan) is in the final stages of pre-clinical development for geographic atrophy (GA). It has the potential to address significant unmet patient needs including a longer dose interval between intravitreal injections and reduction of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) risk.

Peak Bio’s Phase II-ready PHP-303 programme is targeting alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD). The programme was licensed from Bayer Healthcare and is a fifth generation neutrophil elastase inhibitor (NEI) targeting the inflammatory aspects of AATD, a rare condition.

Diana Spencer, Senior Digital Content Editor, DDW

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