SillaJen, a privately-held biotherapeutics and contract research company focused on the development of targeted biological products for cancer, will acquire San Francisco-based Jennerex, a privately-held, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing best-in-class targeted oncolytic immunotherapies for solid tumors.
Jennerex will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of SillaJen, but will keep its name and remain headquartered in San Francisco. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. Including potential future milestone payments, total consideration for the all-cash transaction could reach approximately $150 million.
Dr. Eun-Sang Moon, co-chief executive officer of SillaJen, said, "The clinical data with Jennerex's lead asset, Pexa-Vec (JX-594), is compelling in multiple tumor types. In a randomized phase II trial, Pexa-Vec demonstrated an overall survival advantage as first-line therapy for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, or primary liver cancer). Given the high unmet medical need in this patient population, these initial results are highly encouraging and warrant confirmation in a phase III trial. We also have seen promising activity in colorectal and kidney cancers, the latter of which included two patients with complete tumor responses."
Dr. Yong-Han Lee, co-chief executive officer of SillaJen, said, “SillaJen is actively collaborating with Jennerex and its global partners on transition planning, including finalizing a robust clinical development plan. It remains an immediate goal to advance Pexa-Vec into a phase III pivotal trial for first-line treatment of patients with advanced HCC by Q4 2014.”