Portfolio Company Disc Medicine Enters Definitive Merger Agreement with Gemini Therapeutics

Merger to create a Nasdaq-listed, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing Disc Medicine’s portfolio of haematology programmes

Transaction will fund multiple clinical studies, including clinical trials of bitopertin for erythropoietic porphyrias, DISC-0974 for anaemia of myelofibrosis, and DISC-0974 for anaemia of chronic kidney disease

LONDON, 10 August 2022: Arix Bioscience plc (LSE: ARIX), a global venture capital company focused on investing in breakthrough biotechnology companies, notes that its portfolio company, Disc Medicine, Inc. (“Disc”), has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Gemini Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: GMTX) (“Gemini”) to create a Nasdaq-listed clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company in an all-stock transaction. The combined company will focus on advancing Disc’s pipeline of haematology programmes, including multiple patient studies for its clinical stage programmes. Upon shareholder approval, the combined company is expected to operate under the name Disc Medicine, Inc, and trade on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol IRON.

In support of the merger, Arix will participate in a $53.5 million financing in a syndicate of healthcare investors led by Access Biotechnology and including OrbiMed, Atlas Venture, 5AM Ventures, Novo Holdings A/S, Rock Springs Capital and Janus Henderson Investors. With the cash expected from both companies at closing and the proceeds of the concurrent financing, the combined company is expected to have approximately $175 million of cash or cash equivalents, which will be used to advance Disc’s pipeline through multiple clinical studies and provide runway into 2025. The merger and related financing are expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Disc also announced the initiation of BEACON, a Phase 2 clinical study of bitopertin in patients with Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP) or X-linked Protoporphyria (XLP). Bitopertin is an oral, selective inhibitor of glycine transporter 1 (GlyT1) designed to modulate heme biosynthesis and has been shown in preclinical studies to reduce accumulation of protoporphyrin in IX (PPIX), the toxic metabolite that causes disease pathology in EPP and XLP patients.

“The merger with Gemini represents an exciting opportunity for Disc Medicine. Led by a highly credible management team, Disc has built a diversified, clinical stage pipeline of products focused on diseases of unmet medical need. In less than one year since our initial investment, Disc has made rapid clinical progress, advancing two programmes into patient studies in the past few months. Today’s announcement of the merger agreement follows a thorough and thoughtful strategic review process by Gemini and is validation of our refocused strategy to invest in companies with nearer-term value inflection points.”

Robert Lyne, CEO