Alcobra and Arcturus agree to merge


Alcobra (NASDAQ:ADHD) announced plans to merge with closely held Arcturus Therapeutics in an all-stock transaction, creating an RNA-focused company with a 40-60 split in ownership, respectively.

Arcturus’ technology platform includes seven RNA-based assets in preclinical development for infectious diseases, cystic fibrosis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and rare liver diseases.

Arcturus’ technology platforms incorporate Unlocked Nucleomonomer Agent oligomer chemistry and lipid-mediated nanoparticle nucleic acid delivery systems (LUNAR) to enhance RNA-based therapy.
Arcturus’ four partnered assets with Takeda, Ultragenyx and the CF Foundation Therapeutics have generated $41-million in funding, with the potential to earn over $1.5-billion in milestones plus royalties.

Arcturus’ internally-developed LUNAR-OTC and LUNAR-HBV have demonstrated preclinical proof-of-concept in mouse models of ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency and Hepatitis B, respectively.

Arcturus’ management team is expected to run the combined company, with Joseph Payne serving as the president and CEO. The board will be comprised of three Alcobra nominees and four members to be designated by Arcturus.

Alcobra intends to change its name to Arcturus Therapeutics and its ticker to ARCT on NASDAQ. The proposed merger, which has been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards, is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2017.