PixarBio said today it plans to acquire InVivo Therapeutics for $77 million in stock, in a deal that would enable PixarBio CEO Frank Reynolds to combine with the company he founded in 2005.
The combined company—to be named Reynolds Therapeutics—will focus on developing the post-surgical pain treatment NeuroRelease, designed as a nonaddictive, nonopiate morphine replacement, and other neurological treatments.
“Reynolds Therapeutics will be a new type of life science pharma focused on acute/chronic pain, acute/chronic spinal cord injury, adaptive technologies, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease,” PixarBio board member Derek Bridges said in a statement.
Reynolds emphasized the potential of the combined company to reverse InVivo’s stock price decline—shares fell 46% in 2016, from $7.20 to $4.20, near the company’s $4 price when it completed its IPO in 2010—and contrasted that with PixarBio’s more than doubling of its share price since closing a private offering on October 30. Shares have risen since the close from $2 to $4.59 on December 30.
Reynolds also contrasted InVivo’s share woes with his own performance as CEO of InVivo from 2015 to 2013, when he joined Robert S. Langer, Ph.D., of MIT, and Katrin Holzhaus to co-found PixarBio.
“It’s time to focus on shareholder value, and REAL change at NVIV,” Reynolds declared, using the stock ticker symbol for InVivo.
PixarBio’s board has approved the deal, which Reynolds said was contingent on all existing directors of InVivo not continuing onto Reynolds Pharma’s board—starting with CEO/Chairman Mark D. Perrin, whom Reynolds repeatedly criticized in PixarBio’s announcement of the planned acquisition.
“[Perrin] has had 3 years (maybe 2 years too long) that’s enough time to succeed with Frank Reynolds’ NeuroScaffold technology so it’s time for change. The CEO of NVIV needs to be replaced to have a shot at commercializing NVIVs true value, the NeuroScaffold for treating acute spinal cord injury,” Reynolds said of Perrin, who joined InVivo in January 2014.
According to its website, InVivo’s NeuroScaffold™ for acute spinal cord injury is in pivotal phase development for complete thoracic Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) A, and in R&D phases for complete cervical and incomplete thoracic and cervical injuries.