Aerpio Pharmaceuticals has announced its entry into a reverse merger agreement with the privately-held Aadi Bioscience. The new entity will operate under the name "Aadi Bioscience, Inc." To support the merger, Aerpio is to raise $155 million in a PIPE deal.
The cash expected from the PIPE financing will fund the company into 2024. It will also be used for the potential approval and commercialization of the company's novel product: FYARRO.
The directors of both companies have approved the merger, which is expected to be finalized in the third quarter of 2021. The PIPE financing will be completed concurrently with the closing of the merger.
Company & Stock Outlook
Following the announcement of the merger, Aerpio shares rose by 17.2% to close at $1.36 on Monday, May 17, 2021. Aadi shareholders will receive Aerpio common stock. 33.2% of the new company will be owned by Aerpio shareholders and 66.8% by Aadi shareholders.
Neil Desai, Aadi's chief executive officer, will head the new company. The company's headquarters will be in Los Angeles, California. The proposed board chairman is Caley Castelein.
Aerpio shareholders will receive a non-transferable contingent value right (CVR) after the merger. At the closing of the merger, Aerpio will enter into a CVR agreement.
The new board will be made of the current Aerpio board members Caley Castelein and Anupam Dalal; Aadi's board members Richard Maroun and Neil Desai; and Aadi's board observer Karin Hehenberger. Behzad Aghazadeh, managing partner of Avoro Capital Advisors will also join the board.
The PIPE financing will be led by KVP Capital and Acuta Capital Partners. Other institutional investors will be Serrado Capital LLC, Acorn Bioventures, RTW Investments, Rock Springs Capital, Vivo Capital, BVF Partners, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Avoro Ventures, and Avoro Capital Advisors.
The financial advisor for Aerpio for the merger will be Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. and their legal counsel will be Goodwin Procter LLP. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. will serve as the legal counsel for Aadi. Piper Sandler & Co and Perella Weinberg Partners LP will be the financial advisors to Aadi for the merger.
Placement agents for the PIPE financing will be Piper Sandler & Co., Cowen and Company LLC, and Jefferies LLC.