SAN DIEGO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ensysce Biosciences and Signature Therapeutics are pleased to announce completion of a formal merger on Dec. 31, 2015, naming Dr. Lynn Kirkpatrick as CEO. The company will retain the name of Ensysce Biosciences and will be relocating to San Diego, California. Ensysce becomes an integrated drug delivery company for both small and large molecules. The small molecule focus is developing abuse and overdose resistant pain technology with a clinical program ready to launch for the lead abuse resistant, BIO-MDTM opioid product, PF614. The Ensysce delivery platform for large biomolecules is utilizing single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) to produce intravenously delivered immunology and gene therapy products.
Dr. Bob Gower and William H. C. Chang, both Chairmen of the respective companies, join the board of the combined company with Dr. Gower becoming Chairman of the Board. Dr. Gower, founder of Ensysce and former President and CEO of Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc. which he founded with the late Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Richard Smalley, has more than 40 years of experience in the chemical industry with Atlantic Richfield, ARCO Chemical, and Lyondell Petrochemical. William Chang, the Chairman of Westlake International Group a privately held, diversified investment company with operations in the United States, China, Japan and India, is also the Co-Owner of the San Francisco Giants Baseball Club and D.C. United of the MLS, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of U.S.A. Rugby.
“This merger provides the opportunity to tackle some of the most challenging delivery problems in the pain and oncology fields,” said Dr. Kirkpatrick. “We now have the ability to provide pain medicine that eliminates the potential for abuse with our BIO-MDTM oral prodrug technology and our overdose resistant MPARTM products. The near term clinical trials for the pain products will complement our SWCNT platform that has demonstrated ability to transfect circulating T-cells following intravenous administration. An IV product could transform manufacturing procedures of the highly promising immunotherapy and gene editing technologies. I am delighted to be playing a role in the development of these transformative technologies.”
About Ensysce Biosciences:
Ensysce, founded in Houston Texas, has an extensive carbon nanotube-related, worldwide intellectual property portfolio, including IP developed at Rice University by Dr. Smalley, at the University of Florida and Trinity College in Dublin, and issued patents of Ensysce for the use of SWCNT for therapeutic applications.
About Signature Therapeutics:
Signature, from Palo Alto CA, focused on novel chemical entities for treatment of pain and neurological disorders. Their BIO-MDTM platform eliminates the ability to abuse opioid products by the non-oral route, something that is the fastest growing drug problem in the US and that leads to billions in healthcare costs annually.
Michael W. Sanders, Attorney at Law and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP handled the transaction for Ensysce and Signature respectively, while BV Advisory Partners, LLC was strategic advisor to the transaction.