UCB Strengthens Research Capabilities With Acquisition of Element Genomics, a Duke University Biotech Spin-off

Published: Apr 05, 2018

BRUSSELS, April 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- UCB announces the acquisition of Element Genomics, a small-size biotech spin-off from Duke University, based in Durham, North Carolina (USA). The total cost of the transaction, including upfront and short-term success-based milestone payments, will amount to up to USD 30 million.

At the core of the Element Genomics platform is a suite of technologies to improve understanding of genome structure and function such as CRISPR editing technologies used for genomic and epigenomic regulatory region analysis and modulation, underpinned and enabled with advanced informatics capabilities, and driven by a strong scientific team. Element Genomics' proven technologies and expertise will enhance UCB's scientific research platform enabling the company to continue to enrich its pipeline, in particular strengthening target discovery and characterization in disease relevant systems.

Speaking about the deal, Dhavalkumar Patel, UCB's Chief Scientific Officer explains: "Element Genomics researchers have a stellar reputation and their scientific expertise in genomics and epigenomics will complement UCB's, allowing us to deepen our understanding of disease mechanisms with the aim of developing targeted therapies. We look forward to working with the Element Genomics team and welcome them within UCB."

"We at Element are thrilled that UCB shared our vision for treating disease through knowledge gained through functional genomics and the vast and largely unexplored biology of the epigenome.  We believe that together with UCB we can much more quickly harness the power of this approach," said John Oxaal, CEO of Element Genomics.

Alexander Moscho, UCB's Chief Strategy Officer said: "This acquisition is perfectly in line with our network strategy, where we seek the best partners to augment our expertise in key scientific areas. This in turn helps us to maintain a dynamic pipeline of cutting-edge programs which we can grow organically or choose to partner out to deliver the most value for patients."

Element Genomics' team will continue to be based in downtown Durham, North Carolina, and will work very closely with UCB's international research teams. Close cooperation will be pursued with Duke University and the Element Genomics founders, Duke University Professors Charles Gersbach, Greg Crawford, Tim Reddy and Kris Wood.

About UCB UCB, Brussels, Belgium (http://www.ucb.com ) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases in immunology and neurology. With around 7 500 people operating in 40 countries, the company generated revenue of EUR 4.5 billion in 2017. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). Follow us on Twitter: @UCB_news

About Element Genomics  

Element Genomics is a discovery stage biotechnology company based in Durham, North Carolina, focused on finding breakthough cures for severe human disease through the use of functional genomics and manipulation of the epigenome.

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