Medical biotechnology company, Roquefort Therapeutics, has conditionally agreed to buy UK biotech Oncogeni Ltd in return for shares.
Oncogeni develops novel patented cancer medicines, and will receive 50 million shares, worth just under £4 million ($4.9 million).
In light of the acquisition, Oncogeni co-founder Ajan Reginald will become chief executive of the group, and co-founder Martin Evans will be appointed as chief scientific officer.
Stephen West, executive chairman, said, “We are extremely pleased to announce the proposed acquisition of Oncogeni which will position the company as a material oncology focused biotech company, operating in the high value and high growth oncology segment.”
The company also said it considers the acquisition a ‘transformational, value enhancing deal,’ with the expanded portfolio providing greater potential while mitigating the risks of development.
Oncogeni is focused on two areas of cancer research: small interfering RNA (gene silencing) and mesodermal killer (MK) cells.
Natural killer cells
MK cells research is a relatively new area where cellular medicine is engineered to kill cancer cells and enhance the effect of natural killer cells that also target the disease.
Roquefort is also acquiring lab and manufacturing facilities as part of the deal and the placing will introduce new shareholders, including the Japanese drug developer Daiichi Sankyo and CH Health, a specialist biotech venture capital investor.
West added, “The expanded portfolio transforms Roquefort Therapeutics into a multi-indication company with greater upside potential and improved drug development risk mitigation.”
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