ValiRx PLC – Acquisition of Intellectual Property & JV Agreement
ValiRx Plc (AIM: VAL), the clinical stage biotechnology company, announces:-
- the acquisition of the global granted patents and Intellectual Property assets of FIT Biotech OY for a nominal sum; and
- a Letter of Intent agreement with Alpha Blue Ocean to establish a genetic therapeutic and diagnostic-based joint venture founded on the acquired technology. ABO is a management company closely affiliated with European High Growth Opportunities SF. EHGO is an entity with which the Company entered into a subscription agreement which was announced on 26 April 2019.
IP assets of FIT Biotech OY
ValiRx has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire from the appointed administrator of the bankruptcy estate of FIT Bio, the IP assets of FIT Bio for a consideration of €5,000.
FIT Bio, a biotech company, headquartered in Tampere, Finland which was established in 1995 and was publicly listed on the First North Finland marketplace maintained by Nasdaq Helsinki Oy. FIT Bio was a company involved in the development of gene delivery technology for a number of indications positioning its technology as an alternative to biologics, such as vaccines, antibodies and protein-based drugs. FIT Bio’s principle technology – its Gene Transport Unit platform – had seen an initial product enter into clinical trials.
ABO had previously provided finance to FIT Bio – having entered into a financing agreement with FIT Bio in December 2017. Following the termination of this financing agreement FIT Bio was placed into bankruptcy proceedings. ValiRx has acquired the IP assets from the appointed administrator of FIT Bio.
Joint Venture Agreement
In conjunction with the acquisition of FIT Bio’s Intellectual Property assets, ValiRx has signed a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with ABO, an EHGO entity with which the Company entered into a subscription agreement which was announced on 26 April 2019. The agreement is to establish a genetic therapeutic and diagnostic-based joint venture (“JV”), for the further development of FIT Bio’s IP assets with the objective to assemble and progress a portfolio of genetic-based technologies.
It is envisaged that ValiRx will provide the scientific, technological and clinical development expertise to the JV, whilst ABO will focus on financing the entity and progressing commercial activities. It is also envisaged that ValiRx will add its GeneICE technology, along with the Company’s gene silencing compound, VAL101, into the JV portfolio to sit alongside the IP assets of FIT Bio, as the Company believes the portfolio technologies are complementary to each other. ValiRx’s GeneICE technology has received two Eurostar awards to date for its technological development.
The combined portfolio is well positioned to address the large medical and scientific needs for future precision genetic editing, with all the anticipated technologies in the JV being applicable to many indications, in oncology, inflammation, infectious diseases and neurological conditions.
The formation of the JV is subject to further due diligence following the conclusion of scientific and financial analysis. ValiRx and ABO have agreed that discussions and future negotiation are to be conducted on an exclusive basis.
Further announcements will be made by the Company in due course.
Dr Satu Vainikka, CEO of ValiRx, commented: “The area of genetic editing is a very topical subject area at the moment in the media as gene editing looks set to transform the way we battle a range of diseases. The IP assets of FIT Biotech complement well ValiRx’s existing gene-based technologies and their combination will assist the Group in leveraging its position within this medical market place”.