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AmpliPhi unit to merge with C3J Therapeutics to develop synthetic viruses

AmpliPhi Biosciences Corp. will merge its subsidiary with C3J Therapeutics Inc., a developer of infectious disease treatments, in a stock transaction.

Financial details of the merger were not disclosed, but Marina del Rey, Calif.-based C3J Therapeutics has been valued at $28 million and AmpliPhi is valued at $12 million, according to AmpliPhi's Jan. 4 press release. Under the agreement, shareholders of C3J Therapeutics will own 70% of the combined company, while AmpliPhi will own the remaining 30%.

San Diego-based AmpliPhi, which develops therapies for antibiotic-resistant infections, said C3J Therapeutics' shareholders will invest $10 million in the combined company. Following the investment, their stake in the combined company will increase to 76%.

The combined company will develop synthetic viruses that target a wide range of bacteria and have the potential to treat bacterial infections.

According to AmpliPhi, the merger has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019 subject to the approval of AmpliPhi's shareholders.

C3J Therapeutics President and CEO Todd Patrick will lead the combined company as CEO, and C3J's Brian Varnum will be the president. AmpliPhi CFO Steve Martin will oversee finances at the combined company.

Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. served as financial adviser for AmpliPhi, while Cooley LLP provided legal counsel. C3J Therapeutics was advised by LifeSci Capital LLC, and Thompson Hine LLP provided legal counsel.

AmpliPhi plans to seek stockholder approval for a reverse stock split before the closing to maintain its listing on the NYSE American. The newly combined company will trade under a new ticker on the exchange once the deal closes.