MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Oct 23, 2012) - Biota Holdings Limited (ASX: BTA) today announced shareholder approval of a merger with Nabi Biopharmaceuticals to create the combined company, Biota Pharmaceuticals. The merger was supported by 94% of shares and 82% of holders at an October 23, 2012 meeting.
Biota's merger with Nabi is being undertaken by way of a Scheme of Arrangement (Scheme) and is subject to final approval of the Supreme Court of Victoria later this week. Following final approval, Biota shareholders will hold approximately 83% of the NASDAQ-listed, Biota Pharmaceuticals.
"This agreement is a significant step for Biota and the progress of our Company," said Dr. James Fox, Chairman of Biota. "Today's vote by Biota shareholders follows the support of Nabi shareholders, who voted in favour of the merger last night. The merger is an important step to help us to unlock value from our portfolio, and in particular from our second generation influenza anti-viral, laninamivir."
Biota will apply to the Supreme Court of Victoria for approval of the Scheme at a hearing scheduled for October 26, 2012. The Board will make a further announcement to the ASX after the Court has considered the matter. If the Court approves the Scheme, Biota proposes to lodge the Court orders with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on October 30, 2012 and the Scheme will become effective on that date. Biota shares will then cease trading on the ASX at close of trade that day.
Biota shareholders will be issued with shares in the merged group, Biota Pharmaceuticals, Inc. beginning on November 9, 2012. The merged group will commence trading with NASDAQ's opening on November 9 at 9:00AM EST. It is recommended that shareholders wait to receive formal advice on their holdings in Biota Pharmaceuticals Inc., before undertaking any dealings in those holdings.
Biota is a leading anti-infective drug development company based in Melbourne Australia, with key expertise in respiratory diseases, particularly influenza. Biota developed the first-in-class neuraminidase inhibitor, zanamivir, subsequently marketed by GlaxoSmithKline as Relenza. Biota research breakthroughs include a series of candidate drugs aimed at treatment of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) disease and Hepatitis C (HCV) virus infections. Biota has a well advanced program for human rhinovirus (HRV) infection with a completed Phase IIb study in asthmatic subjects.
In addition, Biota and Daiichi Sankyo co-own a range of second generation influenza antivirals, of which the lead product lnavir®, is marketed in Japan. Biota holds a contract from the US Office of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the advanced development of laninamivir in the USA.
Relenza™ is a registered trademark of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.
Inavir® is registered to Daiichi Sankyo.