Mast Therapeutics has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Aires Pharmaceuticals, a privately-held, clinical stage pharma company developing therapies to treat pulmonary vascular disorders. Aires' lead product, AIR001, is a nebulized formulation of nitrite and has orphan drug status with the FDA and the EMA for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension
Aires will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mast Therapeutics in exchange for shares of Mast common stock representing approximately 6% of its outstanding common stock. The acquisition, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in February 2014.
"The acquisition of Aires will enhance our pipeline with a Phase II asset with more than 120 human subject exposures and which is a strategic complement to our lead program, MST-188. With total consideration of approximately 6% of Mast equity, it represents excellent value for our stockholders," said Brian M. Culley, chief executive officer of Mast Therapeutics.
"Nitrite has demonstrable beneficial properties, including vasodilation and the reduction of inflammation and undesirable cell growth. These are important therapeutic objectives and an ideal complement to MST-188 and its ability to improve blood flow and seal cellular membranes. We intend to investigate the hypothesis that AIR001 positively affects mitochondrial activity and myocyte energetics. With this acquisition, and the initiation of our Phase II trial of MST-188 for the treatment of acute limb ischemia later this quarter, we are taking additional steps towards building a sustainable company with a valuable pipeline addressing significant unmet needs in both specialized and major markets," Mr. Culley continued.