Metuchen and Neurotrope Merge to Form Men’s Health-Focused Petros Pharmaceuticals
Neurotrope and Metuchen Pharmaceuticals announced the companies have merged in an all-stock deal to form Petros Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on men’s health conditions with Metuchen’s erectile dysfunction drug Stendra as its cornerstone product.
Petros will be helmed by Charles S. Ryan, who currently serves as chief executive officer of Neurotrope. The new company will begin trading on the Nasdaq, taking over the publicly-traded spot of Neurotrope. Shares of New York-based Neurotrope closed at $1.43 on Friday, a jump of 11.72%. Funding for the newly-merged companies will include about $20 million from Neurotrope’s available cash and cash equivalents, as well as revenue from sales of Stendra, which was originally launched by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals. In 2019, Stendra generated $30 million in gross revenue. The merger, which has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, is expected to be finalized in the third quarter of 2020.
In addition to the commercially available Stendra (avanafil), Petros’ pipeline will Metuchen’s recently in-licensed product H-100 for Peyronie’s disease (PD), and it would include a business development program exploring various men’s health products, including endothelial dysfunction, prostate cancer, psychosexual and psychosocial ailments, hormone health and substance use disorders. ). In its current formulation, H-100 demonstrated positive efficacy and tolerability in a small, placebo-controlled study in patients with PD, a disorder of the penis involving the formation of plaques and the subsequent development of penile curvature or indentations.
Ryan said the merger with Metuchen provides Neurotrope’s shareholders the “most compelling opportunity” to enhance long-term value.
“Petros provides a platform to create the first publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company focused exclusively on FDA-approved treatments for men’s health conditions, an underserved area of healthcare with significant growth potential. We believe Petros will be well-positioned financially and strategically to potentially accelerate the commercial growth of Stendra, as well as advance its pipeline programs and opportunities,” Ryan said in a statement.
John Shulman, founder and Managing Partner of Juggernaut Capital and executive chairman of Metuchen, called Stendra a “unique asset” in the erectile dysfunction space. Shulman said the merger of the companies will accelerate the commercial relaunch of Stendra and build a pipeline of other therapeutic products to improve men’s health including a topical treatment candidate called H-100 for Peyronie’s disease. The company is confident that Stendra can grow by about 500,000 new prescriptions per month, particularly after it launches an aggressive ad campaign for the drug.
Assets from Neurotrope’s pipeline will become the basis for a spinout company called Neurotrope Bioscience (NBI). The lead asset for that company will be Bryostatin-1, a potential treatment for neurodegeneration. NBI will launch with about $14 million in existing funds and the company plans to initiate a Phase II study of Bryostatin-1 in moderate-severity Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to Alzheimer’s, NBI plans to study Bryostatin-1 in other indications, including multiple sclerosis and Fragile X syndrome.