Full-Life Technologies, a global radiotherapeutics company, is acquiring New Jersey-based Focus-X Therapeutics, a company developing targeted radiopharmaceuticals to treat cancer based on peptide engineering technology.
The acquisition expands Full-Life’s pipeline, including two compounds nearing clinical trials, provides a second innovative peptide focused discovery platform, and leverages its radiotechnology manufacturing and logistics platforms to advance compounds into clinical development.
Under the terms of the acquisition, Focus-X shareholders are eligible to receive from Full-Life an upfront payment, potential development, regulatory and sales-based milestones of up to $245 million and royalties on any commercial sales. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.
“The Focus-X acquisition perfectly leverages Full-Life’s radiotechnology and development platform by adding two development ready compounds, including a lead with initial human data, a robust pipeline and world class peptide discovery capabilities,” said Lanny Sun, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Full-Life.
Fa Liu, Focus-X’s co-founder and CEO, said: “Full-Life’s integrated platforms will provide the manufacturing technology, logistics and clinical development expertise to accelerate development of our compounds as well as expand our discovery efforts. This world class radiopharmaceutical team has enormous potential to develop radiopharmaceutical therapeutics that impact patients worldwide.”
Breaking down cancer cell DNA
Founded in 2020, Focus-X has developed an engineering platform to develop peptide radioligands that precisely deliver alpha or beta emitters to break down cancer cell DNA. The platform enables optimization of peptide radioligand vectors for key pharmaceutical attributes such as biodistribution, binding affinity and in vivo stability. Such optimization can present challenges to other ligand targeting compounds such as antibodies. The company has focused on both validated targets and new mechanisms.
Focus-X’s two lead compounds in development are a prostate specific membrane antigen (PMSA)-targeted peptide for the treatment of metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer and a neurotensin receptor type 1 (NTSR1)-targeted peptide for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The PMSA-targeted compound is currently undergoing an investigator-initiated imaging study. Focus-X has six other programs in earlier stages of development.