North Bay Business Journal

Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 1:13 pm

Raptor Pharmaceutical to merge with TorreyPines Therapeutics


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    NOVATO – Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp. has agreed to merge with TorreyPines Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: TPTX), giving the Novato developer of drug-targeting platforms and mid- to late-stage clinical development candidates a listing on Nasdaq. The merged company will most likely retain the Raptor name, executive team and Novato location.

    Under the terms of the agreement, approved by both boards of directors, Raptor will become a wholly owned subsidiary of TorreyPines, with Raptor stockholders receiving shares of TorreyPines common stock and holding approximately 95 percent of the combined company. In addition, at closing TorreyPines will implement a reverse stock split – the size to be determined at closing – to ensure compliance with Nasdaq listing requirements.

    The combined company will continue to address unmet medical needs and underserved patient population by developing new treatments or improving existing therapeutic compounds. Raptor currently has product candidates in clinical development to treat nephropathy cystinosis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, Huntington’s Disease and aldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency.

    Christopher Starr, Ph.D., will remain as CEO and Ted Daley as president of the merged company.

    In June of 2008 Raptor closed a $10 million private placement of its stock, netting the company $9.3 million, which was expected to take Raptor to the second quarter of 2009. The company has been seeking development partners here and abroad, according to Mr. Daley in a previous interview.

    Raptor currently employs seven, with 12 consultants.

    “This is a great fit for us,” said Dr. Starr. “We’ve wanted to get off the OTC board and gain more traction with institutional investors. Now we can seek funds for new products.”

    Raptor, he said, has always moved ahead by small steps, keeping a balance between product line growth and corporate growth. As new compounds are acquired and developed the company has sought small increments of funding to support them.

    TorreyPines will bring two new products under clinical development: an injectible and an oral non-opiate for pain such as migraine headaches. The compound was purchased from Lily and will be taken to later clinical development by Raptor.

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