Imaxio said today it sold its genomics division to Hybrigenics, in a deal the seller said will enable it to focus more on its immunology R&D operations. The price and other financial terms were not disclosed.
Based in the Clermont-Limagne Biopole near Clermont-Ferrand, France, Imaxio’s genomics unit performs fee-for-service studies to extract and sequence DNA or RNA, with applications that include diagnosis of genetic disease, profiling of cancers for personalized medicine, direct identification of bacterial or viral strains, and characterization of improved plant cultivars.
The genomics division is one of the few European service providers certified by Agilent to perform its SureSelect® target enrichment, comparative genomic hybridization and microRNA microarrays technologies. The division also operates an Illumina® next-generation sequencing and genotyping platform.
Remi Delansorne, Hybrigenics’ CEO, said his company will foster “commercial synergies” with its proteomics services offered through the subsidiary Hybrigenics Services. The subsidiary collects protein interaction data intended to help researchers understand cell physiology and pathology, identify new therapeutic targets, and uncover the mechanisms of action of drugs.
To finance future growth for genomic services, Hybrigenics received €1.3 million (about $1.8 million) through a private placement from Pradeyrol Development (PRD), a family office and majority shareholder of Imaxio. With 2.5 million newly issued shares representing 11.4% of Hybrigenics’ capital, PRD becomes Hybrigenics’ reference shareholder, with an observer seat on the company’s board of directors.
Imaxio seeks to develop its IMX313 antigen reengineering technology, designed to increase the efficacy of each vaccine in which it is used by improving its immunogenicity.
Last month, Imaxio launched a Phase I clinical trial of IMX313 in tuberculosis. The company is also a coordinator of the E.U.-funded Bellerophon project, intended to develop a vaccine against Staphylococcus aureus.
“IMX313 may resolve the problems of developing vaccines and immunotherapies for key therapeutic indications such as tuberculosis, staphylococcal infection, influenza, and malaria,” Alexandre le Vert, Imaxio’s CEO, said in a statement.
In France, Imaxio markets Spirolept®, a human vaccine indicated for preventing a work-related infectious disease, and Trolovol®, an orphan drug indicated for a congenital metabolic disease. These core biopharmaceutical products generated revenue of €2.1 million ($2.8 million) last year, which according to Imaxio provides significant financial support for continued R&D activity. Imaxio finished last year with total revenues of €2.7 million (about $3.7 million).