Intrexon has agreed to acquire GenVec, the developer of the AdenoVerse™ gene delivery platform, for an undisclosed price, the companies said today.

The deal is designed to enable Intrexon to enhance its broad gene transfer capabilities encompassing multiple viral and nonviral platforms by integrating and expanding upon GenVec's expertise in adenoviral vectors and cGMP drug product manufacturing.

Intrexon reasons that the combination of the companies’ technologies could yield the next generation of adenoviral (AdV) delivery by creating a scalable manufacturing platform using helper-dependent adenovirus with a significantly higher payload capacity of >30 kb, compared to current viral delivery methods that range from 4.5 kb to 9 kb.

“Our acquisition of GenVec will mark our continuing commitment to add gene delivery platforms that complement our multigenic control systems,” Intrexon CSO Thomas D. Reed, Ph.D., said in a statement. “The addition of a helper-dependent adenoviral system with a substantial payload capacity dramatically expands the types of in vivo therapeutic programs we can pursue.”

Intrexon projected that the combination of its gene control systems and GenVec's AdV-based technology will accelerate its ability to develop new gene therapies that regulate in vivo expression of multiple therapeutic effectors. Using an AdV-based vector, Intrexon has delivered the first clinically validated transcriptional gene switch using the RheoSwitch Therapeutic System® to regulate the expression and concentration of a powerful cytokine, interleukin-12, to treat cancer.

The companies added that GenVec's selection of vector origins and serotype, as well as its expertise in specifying cellular and tissue targets, is expected to speed up the design and production of vectors that complement Intrexon's multigene programming and focus on safety with limited off-target effect.

“Utilization of their advanced synthetic biology tools and expertise is expected to enable the development of a manufacturing approach that will greatly increase the capacity of our expression cassettes to over 30 kb,” added GenVec CSO Douglas E. Brough, Ph.D. “This next-generation delivery platform is anticipated to vastly exceed other viral delivery methods and accommodate Intrexon's advanced gene programming to target complex multigene disorders.”

GenVec stockholders will receive 0.297 of a share of Intrexon common stock for each share of GenVec common stock, representing $7 per share of GenVec's common stock based on Intrexon's 5-day volume-weighted average price as of Monday. GenVec stockholders will also receive a right to contingent consideration equal to 50% of any milestone or royalty payments received within 36 months after the closing of the acquisition, under GenVec's research collaboration and license agreement with Novartis.

The deal is set to close in the second quarter subject to customary closing conditions, including GenVec stockholder approval, Intrexon and GenVec said.

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