PixarBio said today it has withdrawn its offer made earlier this month to acquire InVivo Therapeutics.

The offer—initially $77 million in stock—would have allowed PixarBio CEO Frank Reynolds to combine his current company with InVivo to create Reynolds Therapeutics.

PixarBio has said the combined company would focus on developing the postsurgical pain treatment NeuroRelease™, designed as a nonaddictive, nonopiate morphine replacement, and other neurological treatments.

“We will stay focused on our NeuroRelease pain platform and continue to drive our nonopiate nonaddictive morphine replacement to market, with FDA approval expected between the end of 2018 and early 2019,” PixarBio said in a statement.

Reynolds founded InVivo in 2005 but left in 2013 to join Robert S. Langer, Ph.D., of MIT, and Katrin Holzhaus in co-founding PixarBio. Since then, the companies have been embroiled in legal disputes over Reynolds’ actions as head of InVivo and over patents related to InVivo’s Neuro-Spinal Scaffold™ technology for acute spinal cord injury.

“We withdraw our offer for InVivo Therapeutics Corp for reasons related to management credibility and competence, corporate governance, and IP control,” Pixar said in a statement.

An InVivo representative at deadline was awaiting word from the company before answering a GEN query seeking comment on this morning’s PixarBio statement.

PixarBio and Reynolds took repeated swipes at InVivo in their January 3 announcement of PixarBio’s offer for InVivo, by emphasizing the potential of the combined company to reverse a decline in InVivo’s stock price and contrasting the decline with PixarBio’s more than doubling of its share price since closing a private offering on October 30.

InVivo responded on January 3 with its own statement saying it had not had any discussions with PixarBio or any other entity about the offer, which it dismissed: “Given that the nature of the offer is not credible, InVivo disclaims any obligation to make any additional public statements regarding this or similar proposed transactions from PixarBio.”

In that statement, InVivo also declared: “Frank Reynolds is not an inventor on any of (InVivo’s) patents or patent applications, so no assignment is required and none was requested.” Reynolds and PixarBio responded a day later by increasing his offer to $100 million, and declaring that: “Reynolds filed over 40 patents applications at InVivo Therapeutics, capturing the Neuroscaffold in legal documents.”

InVivo sued Reynolds in 2013, seeking monetary damages and accusing him of misdeeds that included breaches of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, conversion, misappropriation of corporate assets, unjust enrichment, and corporate waste. Reynolds has countersued InVivo, and the cases remain unresolved.

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