Unum Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies for solid tumors, today announced it has completed the acquisition of Kiq LLC ("Kiq"), a privately held, biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of precision kinase inhibitors. Concurrent with the acquisition of Kiq, Unum entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of Series A non-voting convertible Preferred Stock (the "Series A Preferred Stock") in a private placement to a group of institutional accredited investors led by Fairmount Funds Management LLC ("Fairmount Funds"), with participation from Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, BVF Partners L.P., Atlas Venture, Acorn Bioventures, Perceptive Advisor's LLC, RTW Investments, OrbiMed, Samsara BioCapital, Logos Capital, Ally Bridge Group and Commodore Capital, as well as additional undisclosed institutional investors. The private placement is expected to result in gross proceeds to Unum of approximately $104.4 million before deducting placement agent and other offering expenses. The proceeds from the private placement will be used to advance clinical testing of PLX9486, a highly potent and selective KIT D816V inhibitor, in multiple indications and provide runway beyond 2022.
PLX9486 will be studied as a monotherapy in patients with Advanced Systemic Mastocytosis (ASM) and Indolent Systemic Mastocytosis (ISM), with the goal of demonstrating a best-in-class clinical profile. The therapy has demonstrated promising clinical activity in a Phase 1/2 trial in patients with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST). In a cohort of eighteen 2L+ GIST patients dosed with PLX9486 in combination with sunitinib, median progression free survival (PFS) was eleven months. Additional details from this study are planned for presentation at an upcoming medical meeting.
Worldwide rights to develop and commercialize PLX9486 were exclusively licensed by Kiq from Plexxikon Inc., a member of the Daiichi Sankyo Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Plexxikon received an upfront payment, and is eligible for additional developmental milestones and mid- to high- single-digit royalty payments.
"Unum has explored a range of strategic alternatives through an orderly process to maximize shareholder value, and we believe this acquisition represents the highest-potential value creation opportunity for Unum stockholders. We are excited by Kiq's lead clinical program and the potential to build a pipeline of novel kinase inhibitors while continuing to explore strategic opportunities for our cell-based therapy programs," said Chuck Wilson, PhD, President and CEO of Unum. "As the science develops, we will continue to drive forward our mission of developing novel, best-in-class therapeutics for patients with the greatest need, and we thank our Board members, past and present, along with our investors for their support and commitment."