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Dipexium, PLx Pharma to merge in all-stock deal

PLx Pharma Inc., a privately held late-stage specialty pharmaceutical company, will merge with a unit of Dipexium Pharmaceuticals Inc. in an all-stock transaction.

After the deal closes, Dipexium will be renamed PLx Pharma Inc. and will operate under the leadership of the PLx management team, with Michael Valentino as executive chairman and Natasha Giordano as president and CEO.

The combined company will initially focus on the completion of manufacturing scale-up and label finalization for the previously conditionally approved Aspertec 325 mg aspirin dosage form thereby satisfying the open conditional items, and filing of a supplemental new drug application for Aspertec 81 mg maintenance dose form.

Aspertec is being developed to provide high-risk cardiovascular and neurology patients with more reliable and predictable antiplatelet efficacy as compared to enteric-coated aspirin while also reducing the adverse gastric events common in an acute setting.

Dipexium will issue about 36 million new common shares to PLx stockholders, with existing PLx stockholders expected to own 76.75% of Dipexium shares and existing Dipexium stockholders expected to own the remaining 23.25%.

The boards of both companies have approved the proposed deal, which is expected to close during the second quarter of 2017. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the stockholders of Dipexium and PLx.

Raymond James & Associates is acting as financial adviser and Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC is serving as legal counsel for Dipexium. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC is acting as financial adviser and Jackson Walker LLP is acting as legal counsel for PLx.