20.07.2012 - Sygnis Pharma is acquiring Spanish sequencing technology specialist X-Pol Biotech S.L., a subsidiary of Genetrix Life Sciences A.B. The German biotech said the move is a step forward into the molecular diagnostics business.
Under terms of the proposed deal Sygnis will take 100% ownership of X-Pol through a capital increase against contribution in kind. Once the transaction has been completed, existing X-Pol shareholders will hold 77.5% of all shares in Sygnis. The proposed terms of the deal have been approved by both firms’ executive and supervisory boards.
Madrid-based X-Pol was founded in 2008 to develop tools and technologies for DNA amplification and sequencing. Currently 84% owned by biotech incubator Genetrix. The lead product, Qualiphi polymerase, was recently licensed to Qiagen. X-Pol claims its DNA polymerases demonstrate unique properties that boost the performance of DNA amplification, and can be applied for a wide range of applications in DNA amplification, repair, sequencing, and genetic modification.
Sygnis said the acquisition of X-Pol will represent a major shift in its business focus. To date, the firm has specialised in the development of therapies for central nervous system disorders. Its pipeline was headed by a granulocyte colony–stimulating factor candidate filgrastim (AX200), which was evaluated in a Phase II trial as a treatment for ischemic stroke. However, the study data, reported in December 2011, failed to show any benefits of therapy using AX200. Sygnis confirmed in February that it was looking at M&A opportunities or other financing options. The Heidelberg-based firm said the aim will be to build the X-Pol DNA sequencing business and related activities within the field of molecular diagnostics. “The company will have an entirely new focus and business and will provide a lower risk profile with the near-term visibility of revenues and profitability”, Sygnis-CFO Peter Willinger said.
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