The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both the companies, is expected close by the first quarter of 2023, subject to certain customary closing conditions including shareholder approvals and regulatory approvals


Renovacor develops AAV-based cardiac gene therapy. (Credit: Julia Koblitz on Unsplash)

Rocket Pharmaceuticals has agreed to acquire cardiovascular therapies company Renovacor in an all-stock transaction valued at around $2.60 per share, or a total of $53m.

Under the terms of the agreement, Renovacor shareholders will receive about 0.1676 shares of Rocket common stock, in exchange for each Renovacor share held.

Renovacor shareholders are expected to own around 4.6% of Rocket equity on a fully diluted basis, immediately after the closing of the transaction.

The transaction is unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

It is expected close by the first quarter of 2023, subject to approval by shareholders of both companies, certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

RTW Investments, a shareholder of both Rocket and Renovacor, has signed an agreement with Renovacor to vote in favour of the acquisition by Rocket.

Rocket chief executive officer Gaurav Shah said: “The acquisition of Renovacor aligns with our strategy to expand our leadership position in AAV-based gene therapy for cardiac disease and gives us a perfect opportunity to continue on our mission to transform the lives of heart failure patients through the power of gene therapy.

“Building on our success in Danon Disease to date, I am particularly excited to expand our cardiology focus and capabilities and address a clear unmet medical need in BAG3-associated dilated cardiomyopathy.

“By combining Renovacor’s compelling preclinical work with our joint clinical, regulatory and CMC expertise, we believe we will be well-positioned to bring the highest impact gene therapy with the best chance for success to these patients in the most productive and efficient manner possible.”

Renovacor is a biotechnology company focused on delivering precision therapies for patients with genetically-driven cardiovascular and mechanistically-related diseases.

Its lead candidate, REN-001, is an AAV-based gene therapy that targets BAG3-associated dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a severe form of heart failure.

BAG3-DCM represents a significant unmet medical need in a population with progressive cardiac dysfunction with no treatments targeting the underlying mechanism of disease.

Renovacor is supported by scientific collaborators, intellectual property portfolio and technical expertise in precision therapies for genetically driven cardiac diseases.

The acquisition is said to further strengthen Rocket’s AAV-based cardiac gene therapy capabilities and expand its near-term clinical assets for the treatment of heart conditions.

Renovacor chief executive officer Magdalene Cook said: “Our experienced team is excited to join Rocket in a shared vision of broadening patient access to precision medicines for cardiovascular disease and addressing common barriers jointly.

“We look forward to combining the considerable resources and expertise of Renovacor and Rocket in creating a category leader in the precision cardiology field.

“As a result of this combination, we will be suspending current guidance regarding preclinical and clinical timelines for our programs as we evaluate these items with the Rocket team.”

SVB Securities served as exclusive financial advisor and Goodwin Procter as legal counsel to Rocket, on this transaction.

Wells Fargo Securities served as exclusive financial advisor and Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders as legal counsel to Renovacor.