Corautus Genetics and VIA Pharmaceuticals merged in a stock for stock deal to create a drug development company focused on compounds that target inflammation in the blood vessel wall to treat cardiovascular disease.
"The Corautus team has spent the past several months reviewing strategic opportunities,” states Richard Otto, CEO of Corautus. “The novel therapeutic development program under way at VIA addresses a large cardiovascular patient population. In addition, the substantial support of Bay City Capital, VIA's principal stockholder, and the experience of the VIA management team were key strengths as we evaluated this merger."
The combined company's lead product candidate is VIA-2291, a small molecule drug. VIA filed an IND in the first quarter of 2006 and is currently conducting two Phase II trials for the treatment of vascular inflammation in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy and patients at risk for recurrent cardiovascular events following acute coronary syndrome.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007. It is expected that VIA stockholders will own approximately 76.4%, and existing Corautus stockholders will own approximately 23.6% of the combined company based on the delivery of $12 million of net cash at closing.
VIA intends to apply to have the combined company's common stock approved for initial listing on the NASDAQ under the symbol VIAP.