Pharma Focus Asia

Gemphire Therapeutics and NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals form merger agreement to establish integrated corporation for degenerative disease treatment

Monday, July 29, 2019

Gemphire Therapeutics Inc., Boston, (Gemphire) (Nasdaq: GEMP) and NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NeuroBo) announced on March 24 (local time) the merger. According to the final merger agreement that the two companies have agreed upon, NeuroBo will be integrated with Gemphire's wholly owned subsidiary, and the transaction will be a stock exchange. Gemphire is a clinical phase biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development of therapeutic agents for dyslipidemia and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. NeuroBo is a privately held company specializing in clinical stage biotechnology and is developing disease control drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Upon completion of the merger, Gemphire will change its name to NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Nasdaq Capital Market stock code will be changed to NRBO. The integrated entity will focus on the development of clinical drug candidates for NeuroBo's degenerative disease.

NeuroBo has focused on the treatment of diabetic neuropathic pain (DNP). NB-01, the third phase of clinical trials, is a first-line treatment for disease control. NeuroBo's second drug candidate, NB-02, is being developed to treat neurodegenerative diseases caused by pathologic dysfunction of amyloid beta and tau proteins in the brain, including Alzheimer's disease and tauopathy. In the case of degenerative diseases such as DNP, the needs for new drugs with safety and efficacy are not met. In the meantime, NeuroBo expects to change the paradigm of DNP treatment using a therapeutic, natural-based platform.

NeuroBo obtained a license for NB-01 from Dongart, a Korean pharmaceutical company. NB-01 has successfully completed the Phase 2 clinical trial demonstration in Korea and the United States. This means that NB-01 significantly reduced diabetic neuropathic pain while minimizing side effects compared with placebo. Phase III clinical trials are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019. NeuroB fully purchased NB-02 technology from Eastast.

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals president and CEO, John L. Brooks III, said, "We are delighted that this acquisition will add diverse business opportunities and resources to the NeuroBo and therapeutic pipeline," said NB-01 and NB-02 at the same time. As we are in the process of developing, we believe that merging with Nasdaq's listed companies will create more volatility in our drug pipeline and corporate strategy. "

In addition to the merger, Gemphire has signed a memorandum of understanding with Beijing SL Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. to enter the Chinese market for gemcabene, the new drug candidate. Ltd. has signed a license-out partnership agreement. According to the partnership, Gemphire has secured a $ 2.5 million deposit and will receive separate technology and royalty fees if a certain level of development and commercialization is achieved.

"NeuroBo is the ideal merger partner for our company," said Steve Gullans, president and CEO of Gemphire. "NeuroBo has achieved notable results in terms of diabetic neuropathic pain through NB-01's clinical trials program. And has an excellent team for pipeline expansion. We have looked at a number of potential merger partners, including NeuroBo, which has the potential to deliver products with substantial value as a result of the valuation of its pipeline assets by investors. The merger with NeuroBo is meant to complement our partnership with Beijing SL Pharmaceutical Co. The various partnerships that the integrated entity has already secured will continue to develop gemcabene, which is currently under FDA guidance, and will also benefit Gemphire shareholders who will hold conditional claims. "He said.

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