Annapolis-based PharmAthene to merge with Seattle biotech firm Theraclone Sciences

Annapolis-based PharmAthene, a life sciences firm specializing in biodefense, has agreed today to combine with Seattle-based biotech company Theraclone Sciences, in what executives are calling a merger.

The all-stock transaction will give the joint firm a portfolio of four clinical-stage drug candidates and result in a “fully-integrated and diversified biologics company,” according to a news release.

Those drugs include two vaccines used to prevent and treat Anthrax exposure, as well as treatments for the seasonal flu and cytomegalovirus, or CMV, infections.

The combined firm plans to develop treatments and vaccines for infectious diseases and cancer for both the commercial and government markets. In addition to the four clinical-stage drugs, four others are in earlier stages of development.

Clifford J. Stocks, the chief executive of Theraclone, will head the new company. PharmAthene’s current president and chief executive is Eric I. Richman, who is to become a director on the combined company’s board.

“By combining PharmAthene’s strong vaccine and biologics development capabilities and government contracting experience, with our clinical antibody candidates and novel discovery platform we are establishing a premier biologics organization with multiple product candidates possessing significant near- and longer-term revenue potential in high-value commercial markets,” Stocks said in a statement.

According to the companies’ new release, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PharmAthene will merge into Theraclone in an all-stock transaction. PharmAthene will the issue shares of PharmAthene common stock to Theraclone stockholders such that Theraclone stockholders will own 50 percent of the combined company.

Steven Overly is a national reporter covering federal technology and energy policy with a focus on Capitol Hill. He previously covered the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital.

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