RXi Pharmaceuticals Corp. plans to acquire Apthera Inc., an Arizona biotechnology company developing therapies for breast and other cancers, in a stock deal worth about $7.2 million. At the same time, RXI president and CEO Noah D. Beerman will be replaced by board member Mark Ahn in both roles.
Worcester-based RXi (Nasdaq: RXII) will exchange approximately 4.8 million shares of RXi’s common stock for all shares of Apthera. RXI stock closed last night at a price per share of $1.50. According to RXI officials, the deal will give the company a late stage drug candidate called NeuVax, a peptide-based immunotherapy for low-to-intermediate HER2+ breast cancer in patients that aren’t eligible for the current drug of choice, Herceptin. NeuVax is anticipated to enter Phase 3 clinical trials in the first half of 2012.