Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic portfolio company, Salarius Pharmaceuticals, negotiated a successful exit in January. Salarius and publicly traded Flex Pharma, Inc (NASDAQ: FLKS) announced that the companies entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Flex Pharma is expected to be renamed Salarius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and be under the leadership of Salarius’ current management team, led by Chief Executive Officer, David Arthur. The Salarius clinical pipeline will become the lead assets of the company following the transaction. Flex Pharma President and Chief Executive Officer, William McVicar, Ph.D., is expected to join the Board of Directors of the combined company following the closing of the transaction.
Salarius’ lead compound, Seclidemstat, targets the epigenetic dysregulation underlying Ewing sarcoma, a devastating pediatric, adolescent and young adult bone cancer for which no targeted therapies currently exist. The management team believes that the merger will position the combined company resources to better target rare, orphaned cancers and cancers that have a high unmet need.
Salarius recently completed a $6.4 million private placement, which combined with cash from Flex Pharma is expected to fund the combined company to mid-2020, allowing it to report early cohort data from an ongoing Phase 1 Ewing sarcoma trial. Upon the closing of the transaction, Flex Pharma stockholders will own approximately 19.9% of the combined company, and current Salarius investors will own about 80.1% of the combined company. Flex Pharma stockholders will also receive a right to receive warrants, six months and one day following the closing date of the transaction, allowing them to purchase additional shares. The total value of these warrants will be calculated such that upon exercise Flex Pharma stockholders would own an additional 2.4%, or a total of 22.3%, of the value of the combined entity, subject to adjustment based on Flex Pharma’s net cash at closing.