Stem cell manufacturer Cynata Therapeutics (ASX: CYP) has announced this morning it has received an acquisition proposal.

Japanese pharmaceutical company Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma has proposed to acquire the company for $2 per share (which would be nearly $204 million).

Cynata noted the negotiations were incomplete and entry was subject to a number of conditions.

“Cynata will keep the market informed in accordance with its continuous disclosure negotiations,” it said.

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Cynata’s shares are up 13 per cent this morning to $1.80, now up over 220 per cent from early 2017, when Fujifilm bought into Cynata for $4 million.

At the time, Cynata and Fujifilm signed a deal specifying 90 days after CYP-001’s phase 1 clinical trial, Fujifilm could take an option to an exclusive, worldwide license to sell CYP-001. The deal would deliver to Cynata US$4 million upfront payments and ongoing milestone and royalty payments.

The deadline was in March but Fujifilm opted to extend the deadline by six months – sending the share price crashing 30 per cent as shareholders panicked thinking Fujifilm were not interested despite them not explicitly saying so.

Cynata’s competitive advantage is that its stem cells can be produced on a commercial scale with only one donor.

The company is preparing phase II trials for its stem cells in relation to osteoarthritis and critical limb insomnia. The company’s graft versus host disease remedy, CYP-001, will be the first to go to market.

In other ASX small cap corporate news today…

Australian Ethical Investment has bought nearly $1 million in dental stock Pacific Smiles (ASX: PSQ). After Tuesday’s purchases, the ethical fund manager now holds 6.71 per cent of the company equal to over $12 million. The move comes with the company’s annual financial results due in the next few weeks.

Zelda Therapeutics (ASX: ZLD) announced a strategic collaboration with an Australian clinic (Emerald Clinics) to utilise its clinical data about patients with medical cannabis prescription. Zelda told shareholders the information will assist its ongoing clinical trials. The collaboration costs an initial $40,000 fee and ongoing subscription fees which are still to be negotiated. Shares are up 9 per cent.

Workplace health solutions stock Konekt (ASX: KKT) has told its shareholders it anticipates pre-tax earnings to be between $9.7 million and $9.9 million. Konekt has declared its most recent quarter to be strong despite a contract expiry. Full audited results will be released on August 23.

The ASX has inquired into Dongfang Modern Agriculture (ASX: DFM) about a simultaneous resignation of four of its directors and directors trades of Hongwei Cai. The four departures left the company short of the quota for ASX company directors consequently leading to its suspension. The company said two of them resigned because of false allegations.

Rumours circulated that the company was under Chinese police investigation and despite being false two directors quit. This apparently led to the other two resignations – although one cited “another career development”.

Dongfang also admitted directors trades over $4 million conducted by Hongwei Cai was a breach of its trading policy, and halved his directors fees.


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