Myrexis to dissolve, shares jump

Fri Nov 9, 2012 6:09pm EST

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(Reuters) - Myrexis Inc MYRX.O said its board decided to dissolve the biopharmaceutical company nearly nine months after it suspended development activity on its pre-clinical and clinical programs, sending its shares up 23 percent.

Myrexis, spun off from Myriad Genetics (MYGN.O) in 2009, had been developing several experimental drugs for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

"The Board of Directors and management, together with its external advisers, devoted substantial time and effort in identifying and pursuing opportunities to enhance shareholder value; however, that process did not yield a potential transaction," Myrexis Chairman Gerald Belle said in a statement.

The company hired Stifel Nicolaus Weisel Bank in February to help evaluate a range of strategic alternatives.

Myrexis estimated it will pay its shareholders between $72.9 million and $77.9 million, or between $2.72 to $2.91 per share, based on the common stock outstanding as of November 2.

The company, which has a market value of about $63 million, said it will establish a reserve of between $7 million and $12 million to meet expenses.

Myrexis hired two biotech veterans in May, and planned to convert itself into a vehicle that will acquire drugs that are owned but under-exploited by other companies.

However, one of the veterans Richard Brewer died of cancer in August.

The Salt Lake, Utah-based company's shares rose as much as 23 percent in extended trade. They closed at $2.34 on Friday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting By Pallavi Ail in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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