Matinas BioPharma Establishes Lipid-Based, Anti-Infective Platform, With Acquisition of Aquarius BioTechnologies Inc.

Bedminster-based Matinas BioPharma Holdings, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of lipid-based prescription therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic and cardiovascular conditions and the treatment of infectious diseases, announces that it has acquired all of the outstanding stock of Aquarius BioTechnologies Inc. (Aquarius), an innovative bio-delivery drug discovery company with a novel and proprietary lipid-crystal nano-particle cochleate formulation technology platform.

“Through the acquisition of Aquarius and its novel lipid-based, targeted drug delivery platform, Matinas BioPharma significantly expands its technological portfolio with several product candidates in the field of infectious diseases, which have been supported through the collaboration with – and investment by – the National Institutes of Health via grants and research contracts,” commented Roelof Rongen, President & CEO of Matinas BioPharma.

“Furthermore, this innovative delivery platform complements our focus in lipidomics and allows us to further leverage our significant internal expertise in the development of lipid-based therapies.  Following this transaction, 2015 is poised to be an important year for Matinas BioPharma as we continue to advance our product candidates, including MAT9001 and MAT2203 which represent our two lead clinical programs,” added Mr. Rongen.

Matinas BioPharma does not anticipate any material increase in its cash burn in the short term as a result of this transaction, primarily due to the various National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and contracts currently in place with Aquarius and its subsidiary, Coordinated Program Development LLC.

“Aquarius and its stockholders are extremely enthusiastic about this merger, as the combined platform builds on both companies’ technological strengths and is expected to further enhance the opportunity to develop novel drugs to treat various infectious diseases,” said Dr. Raphael J. Mannino, the founder of Aquarius and an inventor of the cochleate bio-delivery platform technology.

Dr. Mannino, Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, will act as an advisor to Matinas BioPharma on the continued development of the acquired product candidates. Aquarius’ lipid-crystal nano-particle cochleate formulation was developed in collaboration with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, which has granted Aquarius exclusive worldwide licenses under applicable patents.

“The Office of Research Commercialization at Rutgers is pleased with this transaction, both as licensor to this novel technology and as a stockholder of Aquarius,” said S. David Kimball, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Research Commercialization in the Office of Research and Economic Development. “This promising technology platform that we developed with Aquarius is now bolstered by the combination with Matinas BioPharma, whose team has a great track record of developing lipid-based therapies and driving commercial success. We believe Matinas is well positioned to capitalize on the potential for this platform. We are also pleased that Matinas BioPharma is a New Jersey-based company, further demonstrating our commitment to strengthen Rutgers’ and New Jersey’s reputation as a cradle of scientific innovation.”

Aquarius Product Candidates in Development

Aquarius’ pipeline includes five (5) products currently under development, each of which is progressing in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH.

— CAmB – Encochleated Amphotericin B

— C-Amikacin – Encochleated Amikacin

— C-Capreomycin – Encochleated Capreomycin

— C-Atovaquone – Encochleated Atovaquone

— Enhancing Tissue Penetration of ARVs by Formulation into Lipid Nanocrystals

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