Sygnis acquires Amnestix for 4 million euros

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HEIDELBERG, Germany—In June, Sygnis Pharma AG announced it had acquired Burlingame, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company Amnestix Inc. for approximately 4 million in cash and shares. Amnestix is known for applying high-end genome-scanning and other molecular diagnostics technologies to the discovery of drugs for diseases of the nervous system. As part of the acquisition, Sygnis will also gain access to a broad range of central nervous system (CNS) projects within the Arizona-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Dr. Karoly Nikolich, CEO of Amnestix, will remain with Amnestix and part of his duties will be to help establish a U.S. presence for Sygnis so the German company can broaden its business, partnering, scientific and financial networks.

Nikolich has been guiding the young Amnestix, which was founded in 2006, primarily in the area of designing small-molecule drugs for memory-related disorders. Sygnis has confirmed it will continue to pursue the development of these therapeutic compounds.

Amnestix was founded by scientists from TGen, with seed funding from the Brain Trust Accelerator Fund to develop novel therapeutics for improving cognition and memory, which are impaired in a broad spectrum of neurological diseases. The founders of Amnestix, Dr. Dietrich Stephan and Dr. Matthew Huentelman, have discovered a series of novel patentable genes and pathways that play a fundamental role in memory performance in humans.

"[Amnestix], with its powerful CNS drug discovery engine, complements our CNS R&D capabilities. Furthermore, it opens direct access to the leading neurogenomic expertise of TGen, and the wider CNS experts in the U.S., through the Amnestix founders," says Dr. Alfred Bach, CEO of Sygnis.


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