12.02.2016 - The promise of the microbiome as the basis of new treatments has caught the attention of many. Now, UK biotherapeutics maker 4D pharma plc has padded its microbiome pipeline with the acquisition of Irish Tucana Health.
Tucana, a spin out from University College Cork investigates the use of microbiome signatures to aid the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. 4D means to use the research to stratify patient populations, initially for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Longterm, the two Tucana founders and scientists, Fergus Shanahan and Paul O'Toole, will lead 4D’s efforts to build a diagnostic platform across multiple disease areas, to complement 4D pharma's therapeutic platform MicroRx.
“We believe the diagnostic platform developed will become an important part of patient care, giving health professionals an understanding of how, or more importantly whether, a patient will respond to a therapeutic regime; but also expanding the information within 4D pharma to understand and potentially address new therapeutic areas," commented 4D CEO Duncan Peyton.
4D pharma is paying £3.1m (€4m) upfront for the start-up, with additional payments depending on milestones. 410,603 shares will be issued at a price of £7.55 (€9.70).
Peyton added: “Having worked with the founders of Tucana and the [APC Microbiome Institute at University College Cork], it was clear that together we combine the expertise and research at Tucana with 4D pharma's MicroRx platform, research and therapeutic programmes to build what we believe will be a new direction in diagnostics.”
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