Privately-held Menarini Group, based in Florence, Italy, will acquire Stemline for a price of $12.50 per share. The stock closed at $4.75 per share on Friday and in premarket trading climbed to $12.02 per share this morning. Menarini expects to fund the acquisition through existing cash resources. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.
In its announcement this morning, Menarini said not only will the deal provide the company with a toehold in the United States, but the company also plans to continue to advance the development of its CD123-targeted therapy, Elzonris. In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Elzonris as the first ever-approved treatment for blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm. BPDCN is an aggressive, orphan blood disorder with historically poor outcomes. Stemline said that BPDCN can often present symptoms that can be mistaken for blood cancers, such as acute myeloid leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. BPDCN typically presents in the bone marrow and/or skin, and may also involve lymph nodes and viscera.
Menarini plans to use its infrastructure to support expanded launches of Elzonris in Europe and emerging markets upon receipt of regulatory approval in those areas. Stemline will continue with plans to examine Elzonris as a potential treatment for additional difficult to treat diseases and cancers.
Ivan Bergstein, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Stemline, said joining Menarini provides a unique opportunity for Stemline to advance the commercialization of Elzonris across the globe and accelerate the development of its pipeline of oncology assets.
“We have transitioned Stemline over the last several years into an established commercial-stage operation with a novel treatment, a growing pipeline and a strong foundation. We are excited to be combining with a like-minded organization in Menarini, in a transaction that will deliver immediate and significant cash value to our shareholders, while also allowing our shareholders to participate in the future upside of Elzonris’ European launch. We look forward to working closely together on our unified goal of helping and delivering hope to patients worldwide,” Bergstein said in a statement.
Elcin Barker Ergun, CEO of Menarini Group, called Stemline an “excellent fit” for Menarini. She said the acquisition will enable the company to expand its presence in the U.S. and will strengthen its portfolio and pipeline of oncology assets.