By Colin Kellaher

 

Yumanity Therapeutics Inc. on Monday said it plans to shed its neurosciences programs and to combine with privately held immuno-oncology company Kineta Inc. in an all-stock deal resulting in Kineta shareholders owning about 85% of the combined company.

Boston biopharmaceutical company Yumanity said it has agreed to sell YTX-7739, its most advanced product candidate, along with its unpartnered discovery-stage neuroscience product candidates and targets, to a unit of Johnson & Johnson for $26 million in cash.

Yumanity said it will then merge with Kineta, with the combined company focused on immuno-oncology and continuing Yumanity's research collaboration with Merck & Co. in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar dementia.

Yumanity in February said it would explore strategic alternatives and shed roughly 60% of its staff. The moves came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January placed a partial clinical hold on studies of YTX-7739 in the progressive nervous-system disorder Parkinson's disease.

The company said it plans a one-time dividend to its shareholders using any remaining proceeds from the Johnson & Johnson deal, net of current obligations and cash needs related to the merger with Kineta.

Shares of Yumanity, which closed Friday at $1.42, rose nearly 30% to $1.84 in premarket trading Monday.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 06, 2022 07:06 ET (11:06 GMT)

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