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Moving away from two markets to focus on DNA manufacturing
HEIDELBERG, Germany & CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—Expedeon AG wants to focus on expanding new growth markets, and unloading its immunology and proteomics businesses is apparently a key part of that redirection and refocusing—as well as being perhaps a good way to get a cash infusion for the company’s push toward DNA manufacturing.
The German company is doing this through an agreement recently announced with U.K. company Abcam plc, under which the former will sell the latter its proteomics and immunology business activities for a cash payment of €120 million. The agreement covers the sale and transfer of all shares in Expedeon Holdings Ltd., organized in three divisions: the proteomics-focused Expedeon Ltd. and the two subdivisions within Expedeon’s immunology portfolio, Innova Biosciences Ltd. and TGR BioSciences Pty Ltd..
Also as part of this, Expedeon Inc. (San Diego) will be transferred from the Expedeon Holding Ltd. prior to the sale to become part of Expedeon AG, and Expedeon Inc. will transfer the non-electrophoretic instrument assets to the purchaser. Following the transaction, Expedeon AG will change its corporate name and branding, which will be proposed to the extraordinary meeting.
“We are very pleased to announce the signing of this deal with our longstanding partner Abcam, subject to our shareholders’ approval. Our grow, buy and build strategy of the past years has helped us create an attractive portfolio of innovative products and services in proteomics and immunology. In turn, we have now realised significant value for our company with the planned sale of this portfolio to Abcam,” said Dr. Heikki Lanckriet, CEO of Expedeon AG. “The remaining business will focus on new attractive growth markets. With our strong intellectual property and genomics business know-how, we are determined to build a leading DNA manufacturing firm taking a novel, cell-free approach that offers significant advantages over the classic fermenter-based method and unlocks a growing market in the gene therapy field. The gross proceeds from the transaction with Abcam will provide us with the necessary financial resources for this strategy.”
In other Abcam news this month, the life-sciences reagents and tools company announced a strategic partnership with BrickBio covering the use of BrickBio's proprietary platform for introducing conjugation-ready sites into antibodies and other proteins in both mammalian and bacterial expression systems.
Under the partnership, Abcam will have exclusive rights to the platform for the creation of novel conjugation-ready recombinant products for the research tools market, as well as rights to commercialize the platform across its recombinant antibody and protein portfolio for diagnostic use. In addition, Abcam will make a financial investment in BrickBio and work together with the BrickBio team to further industrialize the platform.
BrickBio's platform reportedly provides an unparalleled ability to site-selectively modify proteins in a broad range of eukaryotic and bacterial cell lines. Using a proprietary engineered tRNA synthetase/tRNA pair, the platform can readily incorporate unnatural amino acids that can then be coupled to a second molecule for labeling or other research applications, or to create protein-conjugate therapeutics including antibody-drug conjugates.