MUNICH—Biotechnology company MediGene AG has signed an agreement on the acquisition of the privately held biotechnology company Avidex Ltd., based in Oxford, U.K. A purchase price for Avidex Ltd. of approximately €50 million in the form of new MediGene shares was agreed upon. The company will remain at its premises in Oxford and will be operated as a subsidiary of MediGene.
With the acquisition, MediGene will diversify and broaden its drug pipeline with several drug candidates to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, and will add a proprietary technology platform to fuel its future drug pipeline.
The lead product, RhuDex, an orally available CD80 inhibitor, will soon enter a Phase IIa clinical trial for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, and is estimated to achieve annual peak sales of more than €1.5 billion.
Several other drug candidates with "high potential" are currently in research and preclinical development stages. Additional drug candidates will originate from the monoclonal T cell receptor technology platform (mTCR), on which Avidex already has a partnership with Syngenta AG.
"The acquisition of Avidex is a major step forward for MediGene and makes our portfolio to one of the strongest among the European biotech companies," explains Dr. Peter Heinrich, CEO of MediGene. "Avidex's autoimmune and cancer product portfolio nicely complements our pipeline and offers additional partnering opportunities. Soluble T cell receptors are one of the most modern therapeutic concepts for cancer and autoimmune-therapy. With the blockbuster candidate RhuDex, the mTCR platform and the cancer drugs derived from our EndoTAG-platform, we are well positioned to further develop our business beyond our mature products Eligard and Polyphenon, and to take our innovative drugs to success."
"[This transaction] will combine the world-class research capabilities of Avidex with the very strong development and commercial expertise in MediGene," adds Jerry Benjamin, general partner of Advent Venture Partners Limited.
With the signing of the share purchase agreement, MediGene intends to acquire 100 percent of the Avidex shares outstanding. As a consideration, the Avidex shareholders will receive approximately 8.2 million MediGene shares. Shareholders owning over 90 percent of the Avidex shares have already agreed on the acquisition.
Upon closing of the transaction which was scheduled for mid-October, Avidex shareholders will own 28 percent of all MediGene shares outstanding. The majority of the new shares are subject to a lock-up period of 12 months. Between the signing and closing of the acquisition agreement, Avidex's investors were to contribute £3 million in cash to fund Avidex' clinical and preclinical development programs. This capital increase led by Advent raises Avidex' cash level to approximately €7 million.