Venn Life Sciences Holdings Plc Acquires Evocutis PLC
Venn Life Sciences (AIM: VENN), a growing Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) providing clinical trial management and resourcing solutions to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device clients, announces the acquisition of the intellectual property rights in Labskin™, SYN1113 and related equipment of Evocutis plc, for £210,000 in new ordinary shares in Venn.
Evocutis plc is a dermatology company that has developed an innovative skin substitute product called LabSkin™, which provides an alternative to animal testing. LabSkin™ looks, feels and behaves just like human skin and displays a barrier function similar to that of human skin. Since March 2013, it has become illegal to sell skincare or cosmetic products within the European Union that have been tested on animals. The Board of Venn believes that this regulatory change has opened a significant market opportunity for LabSkin™.
Venn is acquiring the intellectual property and know-how to produce LabSkin™, perform the specialised portfolio of contract research assays, in vitro skin models, skin microbiology expertise and clinical trial support services all focused entirely on dermatology. In addition, Venn will acquire the novel anti-acne compound SYN1113, which is a clinically proven and patented technology. Venn will out-license this technology through its division InnoVenn.
The consideration for this transaction will be £210,000, to be satisfied by new ordinary shares in the share capital of Venn calculated in accordance with the Disposal Agreement, a royalty of 7.5% on the gross sales of LabSkin™ for 3 years from date of acquisition, and a royalty of 25% on the future sale of or out-licence agreements for SYN1113.
The completion of the acquisition, which is conditional upon the shareholders of Evocutis plc approving the disposal of the intellectual property rights, is expected on 13 March 2014.
Commenting on the acquisition, Tony Richardson, CEO of Venn, said: "The acquisition of these ready to market innovative products and capabilities, which have the benefit of over ten years of research, further enhances our credibility in the area of skin science. In December 2013, we acquired CRM Clinical Trials GmbH, a CRO with a strong pedigree in the dermatology and skin science arena. The acquisition of these assets will allow us to deepen our capabilities in the skincare and cosmetic arena and position Venn as a key player in this sector.
"I am pleased that with the acquisition of SYN1113, InnoVenn has its first licensable technology. On admission to AIM in December 2012 we communicated to investors that we would hope to add some intellectual property value to Venn if this could be achieved in a capital efficient way and without complicating our core-business. We have identified potential licensees for SYN1113 and would expect to follow up with further technology initiatives in InnoVenn."