ValiRx Plc Completes Acquisition of Finnish gene expression & biomarker technology
ValiRx Plc (AIM: VAL), a life science company with a focus on cancer therapeutics for personalised medicine, is pleased to announce that it has acquired the assets and intellectual property rights of the Finnish gene expression and biomarker technology 'Transcript Analysis with the Aid of Affinity Capture' ("TRAC") for use by its wholly owned biomarker unit, ValiRx Finland Oy (ValiFinn"), based in Oulu, Finland for a consideration and payment of €75,000 in cash.
The Board of ValiRx believes that the strategic acquisition of TRAC technology will strengthen ValiFinn's biomarker development and service offering, by providing a high-content gene expression analysis platform, which will support ValiRx's development of oncology biomarkers and will support the Group's development of its oncology drug pipeline.
Furthermore and in addition to this strengthened offering, with regard to ValiRx's proprietary 'gene-silencing' GeneICE technology (or "Gene inactivation by chromatin engineering"), the Board believes there are further synergies and advantages to be gained through GeneICE's access to and pairing with TRAC's gene expression analysis technology. Since GeneICE down regulates "rebellious Genes", TRAC can be used as a fast method to test GeneICE expression biomarkers and is well placed to select future GeneICE therapeutic targets.
Dr Satu Vainikka, CEO of ValiRx, commented:
"The acquisition of the TRAC technology platform will synergistically strengthen our biomarker development capabilities and our biomarker library at ValiFinn and it will also substantially support our on-going clinical trials programme. The technology is already being used by a range of customers, has a revenue stream and has the potential to grow into a substantial and profitable business."
The transaction represents a complementary and revenue enhancing acquisition for ValiRx and I am pleased to see the Group moving further into the fast developing biomarkers' space, whilst also bringing benefit to its increasingly exciting clinical and therapeutic development work. I look forward to the Company reaping the benefit of its increased capabilities shortly."
TRAC enables the efficient screening of a large number of drug candidates for a wide range of genetic safety and efficacy markers. Biomarkers are imperative for personalised medicine and add value as well as increase the competitiveness for any therapeutic approach in oncology.
The technology platform already has an established customer base and it has been generating revenue since 2012 without the benefit of an emphasis or focus on sales and marketing. Going forward, ValiRx will look to leverage upon TRAC's market presence and grow the sales of this diagnostic business. The Company believes that together with clinical validation, revenues from TRAC will grow, which will support both the biomarker and therapeutic development businesses. ValiFinn, which is itself already generating revenues, is well placed to further develop as a service/licensing business.
The TRAC method was originally in development for over 10 years at VTT (Finnish State Research Centre) before its completion and launch in 2011. The technology is accurate, efficient, fast acting and low cost and has the advantage that competing technologies cannot provide a similar optimal combination of accuracy and flexibility to fulfill customer demands cost-effectively. It has been tested in over 50 pre-launch projects for customers in Europe and the US and these include leading global pharmaceutical companies and Contract Research Organisations.