Immune Pharmaceuticals and EpiCept have agreed to merge. The combined company, to be named Immune Pharmaceuticals, will be primarily focused on developing antibody therapeutics and other targeted drugs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. Immune Pharmaceuticals is an Israel- and U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of next-generation antibody therapeutics addressing unmet medical needs in the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. EpiCept is a Swedish firm focused on the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of pain and cancer.

Immune’s lead product candidate, bertilimumab, is a full human monoclonal antibody that targets eotaxin-1, a chemokine involved in eosinophilic inflammation, angiogenesis, and neurogenesis. Immune is currently initiating a placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase II clinical trial with bertilimumab for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

The companies’ collective oncology portfolios comprise Immune’s NanomAbs®, a new generation of antibody drug conjugates, and EpiCept’s vascular disruptive agents. Immune will continue efforts to secure a partner for EpiCept’s Phase III clinical development candidate AmiKet™, for which efficacy has been demonstrated for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain and post-herpetic neuralgia.

“This transaction will create a publicly traded specialty biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of four clinical-stage drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer,” comment Daniel Teper, PharmD, CEO of Immune, and Robert Cook, interim president and CEO of EpiCept. “Immune’s bertilimumab, a first in class monoclonal antibody, is being evaluated clinically to address unmet medical needs in multiple severe disease indications. EpiCept’s AmiKet has clinical data in over 1,600 patients in various neuropathies, Fast Track designation and Phase III Special Protocol Assistance from the FDA, as well as a defined clinical path through the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain.”

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