ValiRx Plc Forms Risk-Sharing Joint Venture With Tangent Reprofiling Ltd
4/8/2014 1:22:05 PM
ValiRx Plc (AIM: VAL), the life science company with a focus on cancer diagnostics and therapeutics for personalised medicine, is pleased to announce that it has established ValiSeek Limited (“ValiSeek”), a risk-sharing joint venture (“JV”) company with Tangent Reprofiling Limited (“Tangent”). ValiSeek has acquired a worldwide exclusive licence from Tangent to progress the drug VAL401 through its remaining preclinical development and towards Phase II trials for the treatment of lung cancer and other oncology indications.
Tangent is a member of the SEEK Group, a private biopharmaceutical company, focused on bringing safe, effective and low cost medicines to patients in the shortest time possible to radically improve human health in major disease areas.
Pursuant to the JV agreement between ValiRx and Tangent and the patent licence agreement between Tangent and ValiSeek, ValiRx has acquired a 60% shareholding in ValiSeek for an initial consideration payable to Tangent of £110,000, comprising £50,000 to be satisfied in cash and £60,000 to be satisfied by the issue of 20,338,984 new ordinary shares in the Company (“Consideration Shares”) at a price of 0.295p per share, being the closing mid-market price of ValiRx’s ordinary shares on 7 April 2014. Deferred consideration, based on reaching pre-determined development milestones, may also be payable in due course.
Application has been made to the London Stock Exchange for the Consideration Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM on or around 11 April 2014. The Consideration Shares will rank pari passu with the Company’s existing ordinary shares.
ValiRx will have board control of ValiSeek and Dr Suzy Dilly, co-inventor of VAL401, will assume operational responsibilities for ValiSeek as its CEO.
Background on VAL401
VAL401 is an oral reformulation of a marketed drug with over 20 years of patient-derived clinical data, as a result of which extensive phase I and safety data are already available. Existing proprietary preclinical data demonstrates that VAL401 has an application in the treatment of lung cancer, where there is a huge unmet clinical need; this market is valued at approximately US$5.1 billion at present and is expected to grow to US $7.9 billion by 2022.
The VAL401 programme has been awarded a Smart Development of Prototype award of approximately £215,000 (from the Technology Strategy Board) to progress its further development.
The Board believes that VAL401 is an excellent complement to ValiRx’s existing therapeutic portfolio and that the establishment of ValiSeek and the addition of highly experienced personnel to the group will greatly enhance ValiRx’s product offering, value and resource. Due to extensive prior clinical use in a non-oncology indication, ValiRx, Tangent and ValiSeek anticipate that the drug may be fast tracked along the clinical development pathway to be Phase IIa ready.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Dr Satu Vainikka, Chief Executive of ValiRx, said:
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to further strengthen our oncology therapeutic portfolio with a project of great potential in an area of such unmet medical need and I’m delighted to have Suzy coming on board to run ValiSeek, which will provide the group with extra resource and experience.”
Suzanne Dilly, CEO of ValiSeek said: “I am very pleased to be joining ValiRx and we are excited to be able to combine a high-value opportunity with the experience and ability to progress into the clinic. The Smart award will greatly assist our accelerated preclinical development during the establishment of ValiSeek and we look forward to generating a strong portfolio of indications around the VAL401 product.”
Gregory Stoloff, CEO of SEEK, added: “The launch of ValiSeek is an important alliance as we look to collaborate our pipeline programs with appropriately experienced partners. SEEK’s strategy is to progress the development of treatments for major diseases in a safe and efficient manner. We believe that this is the optimum development route for this promising treatment.”
For more information, please contact:
ValiRx plc Tel: +44 (0) 20 3008 4416
Dr Satu Vainikka www.valirx.com
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (Nominated Adviser) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7148 7900
Liam Murray / Avi Robinson
Daniel Stewart & Company Plc (Broker) Tel: +44 (0) 20 7776 6550
Peckwater PR Tel: +44 (0) 7879 458 364
Tarquin Edwards firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Editors
Founded in 2004, SEEK (previously known as PepTcell) is privately-owned and funded, with headquarters in London, UK. SEEK brings safe and low costs medicines to the patients as quickly as possible. It does this by modifying existing medicines to improve their efficacy within current label, dose and regime, by changing the indication but keeping the dose and dosing regime the same or by creating a new medicine when the previous options are unavailable.
Additional information about SEEK is available on the Company’s website located at www.seekacure.com
Technology Strategy Board & ‘Smart’
Managed by the Technology Strategy Board, the Smart scheme offers funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. http://www.innovateuk.org/deliveringinnovation/smart.ashx
ValiRx Plc is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel technologies and products in oncology therapeutics and diagnostics. The product focus is in the epigenomic analysis and treatment of cancer, but the technologies can be applied to other fields as well, such as neurology and inflammatory diseases.
The Company listed on AIM in October 2006 and is creating a portfolio of innovative products through investment in specific development projects. It actively manages projects within this portfolio as a trading company and is not an investment vehicle. The ValiRx business model spreads the risks of life science technology developments by minimising financial exposure and running a set of projects to defined commercial endpoints. This maximises returns to shareholders by adding value at the earlier stages where value increases per investment unit are the greatest.
The Company operates through the following divisional companies:
1. ValiFinn is the biomarkers and diagnostic development division
2. ValiPharma is the therapeutics division with two embedded technologies primarily directed at the treatment of cancers.
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