BioTime, Inc. and Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. have entered into a definitive merger agreement, boosting the overall company profile as a leader in cell therapy. The merger is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the respective shareholders of BioTime and Asterias. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
BioTime is a clinical-stage biotechnology company, founded in 1992, headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of degenerative diseases. Prior to the merger BioTime also has significant equity holdings in two publicly traded companies, Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. and OncoCyte Corporation, and a private company, AgeX Therapeutics, Inc.
Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc., founded in 2012, also headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a biotechnology company dedicated to developing cell-based therapeutics to treat neurological conditions associated with demyelination and cellular immunotherapies to treat cancer. Asterias is presently focused on advancing two clinical-stage programs which have the potential to address areas of high unmet medical need in the fields of neurology and oncology. OPC1 (oligodendrocyte progenitor cells) is currently in a Phase 1/2a dose escalation clinical trial in spinal cord injury. VAC2 (antigen-presenting allogeneic dendritic cells) is an allogeneic cancer immunotherapy.
“Our vision is to build BioTime into a premier cell therapy company and this acquisition can support that transformation as it not only diversifies our pipeline with two additional clinical-stage assets addressing high unmet medical needs, but also adds partnerships with notable institutions such as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Cancer Research UK,” … “We believe this merger is an exciting opportunity for BioTime’s shareholders to benefit from the potential future value of a more differentiated pipeline as well as the opportunity to impact disease areas that are in desperate need of innovative therapeutic approaches.” – Brian M. Culley, Chief Executive Officer of BioTime
“This transaction can create substantial value for our stockholders, employees and our clinical programs,” … “The stock merger structure provides Asterias stockholders the ability to continue their investment in our clinical programs in spinal cord injury and non-small cell lung cancer as part of a larger, more diversified company with greater resources.” – Michael Mulroy, Chief Executive Officer of Asterias