Send to printer »

GEN News Highlights : Jul 19, 2012

Sygnis Eyes X-Pol Acquisition to Build DNA Amplification Products Business

Sygnis Pharma is acquiring X-Pol Biotech, a subsidiary of Genetrix that is developing sequencing technologies and products. Under terms of the proposed deal Sygnis will take 100% ownership of X-Pol through a capital increase against contribution in kind. Once the transaction has been completed existing X-Pol shareholders are expected own 77.5% of Sygnis. The proposed terms of the deal have been approved by both firms’ executive and supervisory boards.

Spanish firm X-Pol was founded in 2008 to develop tools and technologies for DNA amplification and sequencing. Currently 84% owned by biotech incubator Genetrix, the firm’s lead commercial product, Qualiiphi® polymerase, was earlier this month licensed to Qiagen. X-Pol claims its DNA polymerases demonstrate unique properties that boost the performance of DNA amplification, and can be applied for a wide range of applications in DNA amplification, repair, sequencing, and genetic modification.

Sygnis' acquisition of X-Pol will represent a major shift in its business focus. To date the firm has specialized in the development of therapies for central nervous system disorders. Its pipeline was headed by a granulocyte colony–stimulating factor candidate filgrastim (AX200), which was evaluated in a Phase II trial as a treatment for ischemic stroke. However, the study data, reported in December 2011, failed to show any benefits of therapy using AX200, and Sygnis confirmed in February that it was looking at M&A opportunities or other financing options. Meanwhile, drug discovery work continues on Sygnis’ Kibra gene program targeting nervous system diseases impacted by memory loss.

The proposed acquisition of X-Pol will thus create “a new Sygnis, with a new profile based on its long-lasting expertise” comments CFO Peter Willinger. The aim will be to build the X-Pol DNA sequencing business and related activities within the field of molecular diagnostics. “The company will have an entirely new focus and business and will provide a lower risk profile with the near-term visibility of revenues and profitability.”