RTP-based Ardent Pharmaceuticals is merging with Enhance Biotech, which is based in New York.

Ardent was known as Delta Pharmaceuticals until a name change in May of 2001. The company raised $25 million in venture capital in 2000, including investment from Elan Pharmaceuticals.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ardent, which has 15 employees, has several drug candidates intended to treat moderate to severe pain, urinary incontinence, premature ejaculation, depression and cardio protection.

Ken Chang, the chairman and founder of Ardent, will be the chief science officer of the combined company and also act as president of Asia Pacific operations. Chang was a research scientists at Burroughs Wellcome for 20 years before starting Ardent.

Chris Every, CEO of Enhance, will remain CEO of the new firm.

Ardent stockholders will hold 55 percent of the stock, Ardent stockholders 45 percent.

Operations will be based in North Carolina, corporate offices in New York and London, the companies said in a statement.

“This merger brings together two companies with large market potential and deep pipelines in synergistic therapeutic areas,” said Every in a statement. “Ardent is a recognised discovery and development company with expertise in chemistry, pharmacology and clinical development and has a substantial library of over 1,000 compounds. Their lead compounds are now either in or very close to entering clinical trials in potential blockbuster indications, which we believe will be extremely attractive to potential large pharmaceutical partners.

“This coupled with Enhance’s late stage development portfolio of products focusing on sexual dysfunction and dermatology, gives the combined entity the opportunity to have a broad portfolio of products at market in a relatively short period of time.”

Enhance is focused on drugs to treat male sexual dysfunction and skincare.

Ardent: www.ardentpharma.com