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May 20, 2013

Ignyta Snaps Up Actagene, Branches into Cancer Rx/Dx

  • Ignyta has acquired Actagene Oncology, a San Diego-based biotech company specializing in personalized medicine based on cancer genomics, the firm said. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    The company added that its acquisition of Actagene also signifies an evolution of its business strategy from a sole focus on molecular diagnostics for autoimmune disease to “an integrated ‘Rx/Dx’ focus on drug and biomarker discovery and development for cancer and immunology.”

    Actagene’s CEO Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D., joins Ignyta as CSO and svp, head of research. Through the acquisition, the firm also adds Jean-Michel Vernier, Ph.D., as vp of medicinal chemistry and Dave Matthews, Ph.D., as crystallography head.

    “The Actagene acquisition provides Ignyta with a strategic entry into oncology personalized medicine, an area with high unmet medical need and opportunities to give patients customized treatment options that leverage Ignyta’s biomarker discovery capabilities,” Jonathan Lim, M.D., Ignyta chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “Actagene’s R&D team complements Ignyta’s existing team, platform and capabilities, such as whole genome methylation analysis, next-generation sequencing, Methylome™ database, and bioinformatics expertise. This transaction reshapes us into a seamless Rx/Dx company pursuing a significant growth area of patient stratification and targeted drug discovery and development for cancer patients.”

    Ignyta said it plans to continue its companion diagnostic-focused initiatives to generate epigenetic signatures predictive of treatment response for specific drug mechanisms in autoimmune disease and cancer.

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