Pierrel, the company based in Italy that provides contract research, manufacturing and other services to the pharmaceutical and life science industries worldwide, is in exclusive negotiations with mondoBIOTECH for a deal that would involve the financially troubled Swiss drug-discovery company merging with Pierrel’s contact research division, Pierrel Research.

A non-binding letter of intent signed by Pierrel and mondoBIOTECH envisages an arrangement whereby Pierrel Research International AG, the holding company for Pierel’s contract research business, would contribute 100% in kind of its share capital to that of mondoBIOTECH through a dedicated increase in mondoBIOTECH’s capital.

On completion, the plan is that Pierrel would hold a “strong majority” of mondoBiotech’s share capital and votes. The exchange ratio of the proposed ‘business combination’ would then be determined through an independent valuation of both parties.

The deal is subject to further negotiations on a binding agreement, as well approval from mondoBIOTECH’s shareholders and both companies’ corporate bodies.

Pierrel and mondoBIOTECH said this “unique business combination” would help “tremendously” to shape “the new paradigm of the drug discovery and development process”.

The aim is to “expand the horizons in Pharma R&D through the evolution into a tech-based contract research and development organisation, where the in silico drug discovery expertise of mondoBIOTECH, combined with the technologically advanced CRO services of Pierrel Research, would allow an integrated offering of sophisticated and cost-effective research solutions for pharma and biotech business partners”, they added.

Funding problems

mondoBIOTECH is an independent biotechnology company focused on discovering drugs for rare diseases through its internally developed Search&Match methodology.