Akari Therapeutics has signed a definitive agreement with Peak Bio to merge in an all-stock transaction, creating a diversified pipeline with assets across various development stages.

The merged entity will operate under the name Akari Therapeutics Plc.

Shareholders of both companies will hold approximately 50% equity in the new entity.

The merger brings together Akari’s advanced clinical programmes and new drug candidates of Peak Bio.

The combined pipeline will have an antibody-drug-conjugate (ADC) toolkit with payload and linker technologies.

The combined business will merge chemotherapy with immunotherapy strategies for the development of new solutions for cancer.

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Akari’s lead product, nomacopan, is a bispecific recombinant inhibitor of complement C5 and leukotriene B4.

This product is currently in a Phase III clinical trial for paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant-related thrombotic microangiopathy.

The FDA previously granted orphan drug, fast track and rare paediatric disease designations to nomacopan for this patient population.

It also received orphan drug designation from the European Commission for the treatment of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Another asset of Akari, PASylated-nomacopan, a long-acting type of nomacopan, is nearing the end of pre-clinical development, targeting geographic atrophy with the promise of extending the dosing interval and reducing the risk of choroidal neovascularisation.

The pipeline of Peak Bio includes an ADC platform that comprises new toxins and linkers merged with key cancer antibody targets.

Peak Bio will also contribute its PHP-303, a Phase II-ready programme for treating alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, licensed from Bayer Healthcare.

The transaction will be completed in the second quarter of 2024, pending shareholder approval and other customary closing conditions. Post-merger, the company plans to prioritise its programmes, establish updated timelines and explore near-term value-creation opportunities.