BLACKSBURG, VA--(Marketwire - October 24, 2011) - Intrexon Corporation, a privately held synthetic biology company, today announced the acquisition of Immunologix, Inc., of Charleston, SC. Immunologix specializes in transforming naïve B-cells to produce 100% human monoclonal antibodies that can target all antigen types including, but not limited to cancer cells, viruses, bacteria, toxins, plus those epitopes related to autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
From its exclusive patent license from the Medical University of South Carolina, Immunologix developed mAbLogix™ platform to deliver a key unmet need in antibody-based therapeutics. Importantly, the mAbLogix™ technology platform enables the unique ability to derive fully human antibodies using a 100% in vitro system -- thus avoiding the substantial limitations and time consuming requirements of animal-derived antibodies. The Charleston-based Immunologix scientific team is now part of Intrexon's Protein Production Division, headquartered in Foster City, CA.
According to Gerardo A. Zapata, PhD, President of Intrexon's Protein Production Division, the current market for therapeutic and diagnostic antibodies is estimated to exceed $40B per year worldwide and many of the current marketed antibodies are not fully human. "There are many high value areas that are either underserved or in need of significant efficacy and safety improvement by using fully human antibodies," commented Zapata. "Acquisition of the mAbLogix™ technology and know-how, coupled with the cell processing capabilities of Intrexon's recently announced Cell Engineering Unit, provides us with a much faster, better, and less expensive process from discovery to the scale-up of valuable, fully human therapeutic antibodies."
Ryan Fiorini, PhD, former COO and Co-Founder of Immunologix, and now Vice President of Antibody Development for the Intrexon Protein Production Division, expressed his enthusiasm for combining the mAbLogix™ platform and team within the overall matrix of Intrexon's capabilities. States Fiorini, "We have made substantial strides on our own, as evident by the high specificity and affinity of our antibodies, and the client relationships we have established over the past several years with our service model. However, the opportunity to unleash the full power of our platform within Intrexon's overall capabilities and substantial resources was too good to pass up. We were highly impressed from day one by how Intrexon has systematically brought together the core synthetic biology platforms for delivering compelling commercial applications and products." Continues Fiorini, "We were highly motivated when we realized how rapidly our antibodies could be selected, sequenced, and inserted into Intrexon's complex transgenes that control the timing and super-secretion of antibodies within production cell lines. That core capability, coupled with the proven, downstream bioprocessing expertise of their Protein Production Division, made the unparalleled case for the merger. We are very excited to become part of the overall Intrexon team and are eager to contribute to their top-tier value proposition."
Concludes Zapata, "We are rapidly deploying the mAbLogix™ platform as part of our human antibody value proposition to industry partners. I am very pleased to welcome the Immunologix team to Intrexon and look forward to unleashing the full potential of the exceptional technology on behalf of our current and future partners."
About Intrexon Corporation
Intrexon Corporation is a privately held synthetic biology company that employs modular DNA control systems to enhance capabilities, improve safety and lower cost in human therapeutics, protein production, industrial products, agricultural biotechnology, and animal science. The company's advanced transgene engineering platform enables Better DNA™ technology by combining revolutionary DNA control systems with corresponding advancements in modular transgene design, assembly and optimization. More information about the company is available at www.DNA.com.