Biohaven buys remaining shares of New Haven-based bio-technology company


NEW HAVEN — Officials with the holding company of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals has acquired the remaining 58 percent interest in another city-based biotechnology company, officials said.

Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Co. already had a 42 percent ownership stake in privately-held Kleo Pharmaceuticals. Biohaven’s acquisition of the company was completed in a stock deal in which Kleo shareholders are getting the right to about 0.007 of a common share of Biohaven stock for every Kleo share.

The deal also gives Kleo shareholders the right to receive $1 in cash if certain specified Kleo biopharmaceutical products or product candidates receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval prior to a 30-month period after the merger.

The deal was approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both Biohaven and Kleo. The merger values Kleo, including cash on hand, at approximately $20 million.

Biohaven has assumed Kleo’s 10,000-square-foot laboratory facilities in the city’s Science Park and formed Biohaven Labs to serve as the integrated chemistry and discovery research arm of Biohaven. Biohaven Labs will continue several existing Kleo drug discovery efforts, including with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the development of a Hyperimmune Globulin Mimic (HGM) for COVID-19 and PeptiDream for the development of immuno-oncology therapeutics.

Dr. Vlad Coric, Biohaven’s chief executive officer, said the creation of Biohaven Labs “will combine two cutting-edge platform technologies from Yale University.”

“We have a world-class development team that has demonstrated the ability to advance novel treatments to the clinic and will harness the full potential of these novel technology platforms to create value for patients and investors,” Coric said.

Kleo Pharmaceuticals’ primary focus since its founding in 2016 has been developing drugs to fight cancer. The company was created out of the research of its scientific founder, Dr. David Spiegel at Yale University.

But since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, researchers from the company have thrown their efforts into developing treatments for the virus.

In addition to the treatment program for which Kleo is receiving the Gates Foundation money, the company also has established collaborations with South Korea-based Green Cross LabCell and U.S.-based Celularity to develop COVID-19 therapies. Kleo officials believe that the same antibody recruiting molecule technology that company researchers are developing to fight cancers such as myeloma, which develops in blood cells, can be used to treat COVID-19.

Spiegel said Coric and the Biohaven team “are a visionary group with the ability to…

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