Soligenix, Intrexon pursue melioidosis therapy through exclusive collaboration
Soligenix, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on inflammatory diseases and biodefense countermeasures, will jointly develop a treatment for melioidosis through a worldwide exclusive collaboration with Intrexon, a synthetic biology company that utilizes its proprietary technologies to provide control over cellular function.
Through the collaboration, Soligenix intends to develop and commercialize human monoclonal antibody therapies for new biodefense and infectious disease applications for melioidosis using Intrexon's advanced human antibody discovery, isolation and production technologies.
Intrexon will provide discovery and development of therapeutic antibody candidates, as well as optimize and expand production of human monoclonal antibodies targeting melioidosis by applying its proprietary platforms and technologies. Soligenix will undertake preclinical and clinical development, regulatory and government interactions, as well as the commercialization of therapeutic products.
Melioidosis is an often lethal disease that is endemic in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. It is also considered a high-priority biodefense threat as defined in the 2012 Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE) Strategy established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with the potential for widespread dissemination through aerosol.
Christopher J. Schaber, PhD, president and CEO of Soligenix, said the collaboration is unique because the goal is to develop a therapy that will treat both a deadly disease currently affecting millions of people as well as fight a potential biological weapon.
"Our collaboration with Intrexon is consistent with our corporate strategy of building shareholder value through continuous evaluation of new product opportunities and acting upon those that meet Soligenix's mission of delivering disease-modifying therapies in areas of high unmet medical need," Schaber said. "By working with Intrexon we hope to make a potentially life-saving therapy available to patients in endemic regions and include the therapy in the national stockpiling program in case of a biowarfare event. Intrexon has a very strong track record of adding value both as a collaborator and a committed shareholder. We are very excited to join the exclusive coterie of Intrexon partner companies."
Intrexon chairman and CEO, Randal J. Kirk, said the collaboration with Soligenix reflects the core strengths Intrexon looks for in its exclusive channel collaborations.
"Soligenix has the expertise and highly focused mission we look for in all our collaborations," Kirk said. "Although we are engaging with increasingly larger enterprises in health, food, energy and environment, we shall continue to explore powerful combinations with smaller, specialized companies that have great teams, grand vision and deep expertise."
Additional terms under the collaboration agreement include:
- Soligenix will receive an exclusive, worldwide license to utilize the products of Intrexon's modular genetic engineering platform for the development of active pharmaceutical ingredient(s) (API) and drug products targeting melioidosis.
- Soligenix will leverage Intrexon's proprietary platforms and technologies, including the UltraVector and mAbLogix platforms, LEAP instrument, protein engineering, inducible gene systems, genome engineering and cell systems engineering to the collaboration's programs.
- Soligenix will issue to Intrexon 1,034,483 shares of its common stock, representing 8.5% of Soligenix's issued and outstanding shares.
- Intrexon will be granted the right to participate in securities offerings that may be conducted by Soligenix in the future as well as the right to make purchases of Soligenix's common stock in the open market.
- Soligenix will pay development milestones and royalties on net sales derived from the sale of products developed from the channel collaboration.
Griffin Securities served as financial advisor to Intrexon in connection with this transaction.