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Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (SNSS) Soars on Merger Deal with Viracta Therapeutics

The merger agreement between both Sunesis and Viracta will focus on the oncology pipeline. The combined company will be listed on Nasdaq and is anticipated to have almost $120 million of cash balance on completion of the merger.

The U.S.-based biopharmaceutical firm is entering into a merger with Viracta Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held precision oncology company. Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SNSS) on Monday announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement after which Viracta will combine with it in an all-stock transaction.

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The closing date of merger is yet to be announced. However, it is expected to close in the first half of 2021 based on customary closing conditions, and agreement of shareholders of both companies.

Following the agreement announcement, SNSS shares soared from $1.50 to as high as $1.90. The stock is continuing to rally on Wednesday as it has spiked up to $1.84 rising by 3.37, at 11:11 A.M. ET.

Sunesis’smerger with Viracta will focus on the development of Viracta’s clinical-stage, precision oncology pipeline that targets viruses connected with malignancies. Moreover, the combined company will also focus on Viracta’s lead program of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive relapsed.

The combined company will work under the name of Viracta Therapeutics, Inc., and is expected to be listed on the Nasdaq under the ‘VIRX’ ticker.

Following the merger deal with Sunesis, Viractaentered into an agreement with an investor syndicate for the sale of its common stock in a private placement. The oncology company will sell its common stock to a group of accredited investors including BVF Partners L.P.,aMoon, Logos Capital, Ridgeback Capital Management, and certain other institutional investors.

Viracta expects gross proceeds of almost $65 million from the private placement and it will obtain the amount before the closing of the merger with Sunesis. With this, upon the closing of the merger, the combined company will have approximately $120 million in cash balance enough to run the company into 2024.

In addition, Viracta also completed a $40 million Series E Preferred Stock equity financing by aMoon, along with some other existing investors of the company.

Bringing Viracta on the front stage of the public, the company will have a bigger opportunity to explore its potential. The lead program of Viractaevaluates the all-oral combination of nanatinostat. Also, it’s valganciclovir project is in Phase 2 trials that will treat refractory lymphomas, a disease that causes over 140K deaths each year. The company has plans for its front-line product, expecting to initiate the registration trials for treating EBV-positive lymphoma in the next year.

In collaboration with Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SNSS), Viracta will expand its ecosystem and create a corporate momentum among its patients and shareholders, and all the other stakeholders.

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