Acquisition of Finnish biomarkers business by ValiFinn
ValiRx Plc (AIM: VAL), a life science company with a focus on cancer diagnostics and therapeutics for personalised medicine, is pleased to announce that ValiFinn Oy, its wholly owned subsidiary, has acquired from Pharmatest Services Oy ("Pharmatest") of Oulu, Finland, its biomarkers business unit together with 5 families of patents and patent applications and related intellectual property ("IP").
The consideration is a payment of €75,000 and the allotment of 15,000,000 shares in ValiRx Plc, credited as fully paid. There is also an obligation to pay a royalty to Pharmatest from future revenues relating to the IP and for the life of the patents.
The biomarkers business unit comes with a revenue stream, which is derived from the provision of contract research services to pharmaceutical companies who are utilising its library of biomarkers and it will form a new division at ValiFinn.
Strategically, the acquisition will enhance the Group's R&D capability, as the specialist biomarker expertise within the unit is leveraged to advance in-house the development of companion biomarker diagnostics to complement ValiRx's therapeutics, its existing intellectual property and companion diagnostic activities.
Epigenomics is a rapidly advancing field and pairing a prognostic and/or predictive biomarker diagnostic with a targeted drug is emerging as a key part of personalised medicine, particularly in cancer patients.The Directors of ValiRx believe therefore that the IP acquired can add considerable value to the Group and they look forward to the biomarker unit's involvement in ValiRx's forthcoming clinical trials, and tobenefiting from the favourable environment for regulated medical and clinical studies in the Nordic region.
As reported on 18 August 2011, ValiFinn will be conducting in Finland the management of certain aspects of ValiRx's late preclinical work on its compound, VAL201, to develop a treatment for hormone induced refractory prostate cancer among other conditions.
Issue of Equity
In relation to the share based payment described above the Company has issued 15,000,000 new ordinary shares at a price of 0.52 pence per share. The new ordinary shares will rank pari passu with the existing ordinary shares. Application for the new ordinary shares has been made to the London Stock Exchange and trading in these shares is expected to occur on or around 10 January 2012.
Following the issue of equity, the share capital of the company will comprise 1,059,562,609 ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each.
Dr Satu Vainikka, CEO, commented: "I am delighted to welcome our new colleagues to the Group and am pleased to see ValiRx moving into the fast developing biomarkers' space. As is detailed below, biomarkers are crucial for detecting cancer at an early stage and they are also key in optimising therapeutic strategy and monitoring therapeutic success. It is a market that is rapidly growing in size with the potential benefit for patients being significant, in addition to potential cost savings derived from across the pharmaceutical industry. I look forward to our late pre-clinical work progressing to the stage whereby value in both this newly acquired IP and the VAL201 compound is further crystalised".