Innoviva has signed a definitive merger agreement for the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical firm Entasis Therapeutics for $2.20 per share in cash. 

The latest deal values the equity of Entasis at $113m on a fully diluted basis.

In 2020, Innoviva had made a strategic investment in Entasis and owns nearly 60% of the latter’s outstanding shares.

The agreement is for shares that are currently not owned by Innoviva.

Set up in 2015 as an AstraZeneca spin-out, Entasis discovers and develops new antibacterial products.

Its pathogen-targeted approach generated a strong clinical and pre-clinical pipeline of potential therapies to treat multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria.

The pipeline includes its lead asset, SUL-DUR, which met all primary and secondary endpoints in a Phase III clinical trial.

A New Drug Application (NDA) for SUL-DUR is anticipated to be filed with the US Food and Drug Administration in the third quarter of this year.

Innoviva CEO Pavel Raifeld said: “We look forward to working with the Entasis team to advance sulbactam-durlobactam (SUL-DUR) and its broader novel antibacterial pipeline to address the urgent and serious threat posed by multidrug-resistant pathogens.

“Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter infections are an area of significant unmet medical need and, if approved by regulators, SUL-DUR could become the leading treatment for this disease.”

The boards of directors of both the companies have unanimously granted approval for the merger.

Subject to necessary closing conditions, the deal is expected to conclude in the third quarter of this year.

In May last year, Innoviva entered a definitive agreement to buy GSK’s equity stake in the company, constituting 32% of the outstanding common stock, for $392m.