Resverlogix says Shenzhen Hepalink deal on RVX-208 cardio candidate closes

Calgary-based Resverlogix ($RVX) said it has closed a deal to license greater China rights of clinical stage cardiovascular RVX-208 to China's Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical, putting its future on a candidate that failed in previous clinical trials and is now billed as a new treatment for atherosclerosis.

In April, Hepalink purchased a C$35 million ($28.7 million) equity stake in Resverlogix by buying 13.3 million shares and 1 million warrants at C$2.67 in a draft deal that included a potential $400 million in royalties and milestones for Resverlogix.

Eastern Capital, a current shareholder in Resverlogix, said at the time it would increase its stake by C$15 million ($12.3 million) at the same price. Also in April, the biotech's CEO Donald McCaffrey told Bloomberg that he's in talks with unnamed suitors to sell the company.

The companies see an opportunity in Greater China, which includes Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, with several new indications for RVX-208, according to the April press release from Resverlogix.

In the second half of the year, Resverlogix plans a Phase III trial related to the BET family of bromodomain-containing proteins to treat patients with diabetes and low HDL who also suffer from cardiovascular problems.

Last year, Resverlogix touted evidence of a reduction in major cardiovascular events among diabetes patients in two studies.

That news came after a 2013 Phase IIb trial for RVX-208 failed to meet the goal of change in percent of atheroma volume in patients with a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, wiping out most of its share value and forcing the company to go into survival mode.

- here's the release