UK pharmaceutical services company Imagen offered personalised cancer treatment through the collection and use of well-characterised, patient-derived cells.
The company collected samples from patients over a number of years across a wide variety of cancers and was able to build a unique ‘biobank’ of human derived cells and provide services to the global pharmaceutical industry for preclinical screening of drug candidates.
The asset acquisition will see Imagen’s biobank and relevant equipment transferred and integrated into wholly owned ValiRx subsidiary and translational contract research organisation (tCRO®), Inaphaea BioLabs, based at MediCity Nottingham, within the next few months.
In addition, ValiRx has secured the consultancy services of co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Imagen, Dr Gareth Griffiths, to assist with the establishment of the patient-derived cell line services in the Inaphaea laboratories.
Comments on the news
Dr Suzy Dilly, CEO of ValiRx, said: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of the Imagen assets. In particular, the biobank of patient derived cell lines is a valuable resource as it enables Inaphaea to offer screening of a wide range of oncology drug candidates against patient derived cell lines. This is an important step towards our ambition to make our assays more closely aligned to a complex human system, rather than rely on commercially available immortalised cell lines.
"This transaction gives us significant lab equipment at a substantial discount to our budgeted cost for these items had we purchased new, with the cell lines and other IP acquired at modest additional cost. The team did brilliantly to complete this on a rapid timescale, at excellent value for the Company. We believe these services will generate near-term market interest and differentiate Inaphaea’s offering. Furthermore, the equipment, acquired at a fraction of market prices, will support both the new cancer drug screening services and Inaphaea’s wider business interests.”
Dr Kevin Cox, Chair of ValiRx, added: “The acquisition of Imagen’s assets illustrates our intent to build the tCRO® in the most capital efficient way. ValiRx’s CEO Suzy and Non-Executive Director Stella Panu have achieved a significant goal for the Company in identifying, negotiating, and completing the deal within a timescale and at a cost that would be unthinkable for a business acquisition of this nature.
“Indeed, building our own Imagen-like biobank would have taken years and at a cost likely to be an order of magnitude higher. We believe this approach will significantly enhance value in ValiRx, and we expect integration of these assets into our business will be rapid and increase our revenue earning potential in the near term.”