Nuvation Bio has made a definitive agreement to acquire AnHeart Therapeutics through an all-stock transaction, in a strategic move to bolster its oncology pipeline.

The deal will transform Nuvation Bio into a late-stage international oncology company with the potential to transition into a commercial entity by the end of next year.

Post-acquisition, the former AnHeart’s shareholders will hold 33% of the merged entity. Nuvation Bio’s current stockholders will own around 67%.

Current Nuvation Bio founder, CEO and president David Hung will be at the helm of the merged business while AnHeart employees in China and the US will integrate into the Nuvation Bio team.

As the new parent company, Nuvation Bio will own AnHeart’s assets, including its intellectual property.

The acquisition will enhance Nuvation Bio’s portfolio with promising assets such as taletrectinib, a ROS1 [proto-oncogene 1, receptor tyrosine kinase] inhibitor currently in two pivotal Phase II studies for ROS1-positive non-small cell lung cancer.

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Another asset, safusidenib, is a mutant IDH1 [the isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 gene] inhibitor currently being assessed in a global Phase II study of IDH1-mutant glioma.

Nuvation Bio is committed to progressing these studies, alongside advancing trials for its pipeline candidates such as the Phase Ib studies of NUV-868 and the recently initiated Phase I/II study of NUV-1511.

Hung stated: “This transaction represents a significant milestone for our company and reflects Nuvation Bio’s continued commitment to developing therapies for patients with the most difficult-to-treat cancers.

“AnHeart’s lead asset, taletrectinib, which will become our lead asset as it completes two pivotal studies, is a differentiated, next-generation ROS1 inhibitor with a potentially best-in-class profile that may overcome the significant limitations of existing therapies. We are impressed by what the AnHeart team has done to develop this asset and intend to build on the progress made to date.”

The boards of directors of both companies have approved the deal, which is anticipated to conclude in the second quarter of 2024.