XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd has acquired a stake in U.S.-based iviGene Corporation. The acquisition gives XTL access to iviGene‘s proprietary IVIAT technology for identifying novel drug targets for treating a broad range of infectious diseases.
The technology is expected to enable XTL to develop both novel human monoclonal antibody and small molecule drugs for antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal infections.
Under the terms of the deal, XTL purchased a 20% minority stake in Florida-based iviGene for $1 million and has agreed to fund certain research activities over the next 18 months.
Additionally, XTL has the option to acquire the remaining 80% of iviGene for $4 million in cash and $16 million in XTL shares.
In connection with the collaboration, Glenn Kazo, Chief Business Officer and General Manager of XTL’s U.S. subsidiary, will be added to the iviGene Board of Directors.
iviGene’s In Vivo Induced Antigen Technology (IVIAT) is a rapid and efficient functional genomics technology that rapidly sifts through a pathogen’s genes to identify in vivo- induced protein expression.
By using in vivo expression rather than in vitro expression, IVIAT avoids problems caused by the expression of non-pathogenic genes.
“We are excited about working with iviGene and using its technology to gain access to valuable infectious disease targets,” stated Martin Becker, President and CEO of XTL Biopharmaceuticals.
“This collaboration fits our strategy of continuing to strengthen our infectious disease program and it offers the potential for fueling XTL’s growing pipeline,” added Becker.
Mento Soponis, President and CEO of iviGene said, “The wide applicability of IVIAT to human pathogens has already been demonstrated in the lab, and we are pleased that XTL has decided to invest its financial and scientific resources in iviGene at this time.
We expect that by combining IVIAT with XTL’s Trimera technology for developing human monoclonal antibodies, we will make rapid progress in advancing compounds into the clinic,” added Soponis.