Synlogic takeover secures Mirna’s NASDAQ listing + $40m cash

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

Synlogic has announced it will conduct a reverse merger with failed Mirna Therapeutics, to focus on metabolic and inflammatory diseases and cancer.

The deal will see Synlogic acquire Mirna’s stock listing on the North American Stock Market (NASDAQ) and its remaining cash, estimated at approximately $40m (€35.7m).

“The cash from the merger strengthens Synlogic’s balance sheet, enabling the company to focus on advancing lead programs through patient proof-of-concept as well as advancing the development of earlier product pipeline,” ​Synlogic spokesperson told

The merger “also grows the company investor base and provides access to the capital from the public markets providing greater financial flexibility going forward,” ​the spokesperson told us.

Failed microRNA

Mirna, developer of microRNA oncology therapeutics, produced the first microRNA mimic to enter clinical development in oncology.

The microRNA mimic, ‘MRX34’, was placed on full clinical hold by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016 after having produced multiple immune-related serious adverse events (SAEs) in patients during the Phase I clinical trial.

Mirna subsequently closed the New Drug (IND) Application in September 2016, and has since been looking to secure a merger or sale of the company.

“There are only a few current employees at Mirna and they won’t be joining Synlogic following upon the deal close,” ​said Synlogic spokesperson.

“Synlogic will own any intellectual property Mirna has, but as their development programs are not core to Synlogic’s focus, Synlogic will focus on executing its own strategy and pipeline.”

Synthetic biology

The companies, which both target rare metabolic diseases – inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) – will merge under the ‘Synlogic’ name, and will concentrate on Synthetic Biotic medicines.

Designed using synthetic biology, the firm genetically reprograms beneficial microbes to treat metabolic and inflammatory diseases, and cancer.

“While many conventional medicines address one molecular dysfunction, these living medicines have the potential to uniquely and effectively compensate for entire processes or pathways to treat patients with significant unmet medical need,”​ said CEO Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos.

Synlogic’s lead programmes are focused on treating hyperammonemia, including Urea Cycle Disorders (UCDs) and hepatic encephalopathy (HE), as well as Phenylketonuria (PKU).

The firm’s primary candidate, hyperammonemia treatment SYNB1020, will enter a Phase I trial mid-2017.

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