Galena Biopharma merges SELLAS to form new combined company


SELLAS Life Sciences Group has entered an all-stock definitive merger agreement, under which the company will merge into and become an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of US-based Galena Biopharma.

SELLAS is a privately held, oncology-focused, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company.

The newly formed company will feature a late-stage pipeline focusing on the development of new immunotherapies targeting a wide range of indications in haematology and solid tumours.

Galena Biopharma interim CEO and chief financial officer Stephen Ghiglieri said: “Following a thorough review of strategic alternatives and extensive search for a merger partner, we selected SELLAS due to the depth of their cancer immunotherapy pipeline, which is clearly complimentary to Galena’s development programmes.

“In evaluating many alternatives, SELLAS stood out in terms of its vision, strategic alignment with Galena’s cancer immunotherapy programmes, and near term opportunity for value creation for our shareholders.”

"In evaluating many alternatives, SELLAS stood out in terms of its vision, strategic alignment with Galena’s cancer immunotherapy programmes, and near term opportunity for value creation for our shareholders."

SELLAS licenses the rights to its lead product, galinpepimut-S (GPS), a new WT1 antigen-targeting immunotherapy, and is initially being developed to treat patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

The company has also completed a Phase II trial of GPS to assess the use of the treatment in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM).

In addition, it is conducting two Phase II trials of GPS in multiple myeloma, along with a combination trial in ovarian cancer with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s nivolumab (opdivo).

The company is also currently preparing for additional combination trials for GPS in combination with another checkpoint inhibitor.

Galena Biopharma’s lead immunotherapy programme, NeuVax (nelipepimut-S), is undergoing three Phase II investigator-sponsored clinical trials in breast cancer.

The company's other development programmes include GALE-401, a controlled release version of anagrelide, and GALE-301/GALE-302, an earlier-stage cancer immunotherapy programme targeting folate binding protein.