Aviragen, Vaxart To Merge to Form Oral Vaccines CompanyBy
Aviragen Therapeutics, an Alpharetta, Georgia-headquartered pharmaceutical company, and Vaxart, a South San Francisco, California-headquartered developer of oral recombinant vaccines, plan to merge, in deal first proposed in October 2017.
Based on the valuations of a selected set of publicly traded vaccine companies, Vaxart’s estimated potential valuation prior to the merger was approximately $158 million. Based on the ownership structure in the transaction, this would imply a value of the combined company at $264 million, with the potential value of Aviragen in the merger being $106 million, an improvement in value compared to Aviragen’s current market capitalization of approximately $23 million, according to information from Aviragen.
The merger would result in a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing Vaxart’s oral recombinant vaccines based on its proprietary delivery platform that allows for administration by tablet rather than by injection and Aviragen’s direct-acting antivirals.
Vaxart’s lead investigational vaccine is an oral solid-dose formulation of an influenza vaccine and is currently in Phase II clinical trials.
Under the agreement, Aviragen equity holders will own 40% of the combined company. For legacy Aviragen equity holders, owning 40% of the combined company implies a potential value of $106 million.
The combined company name will be named Vaxart with seven board members: four from Vaxart and three from Aviragen. The Aviragen Board of Directors unanimously recommended that stockholders vote in favor of the proposed merger with Vaxart.