South Carolina-based biotechnology company Immunologix has been acquired by Virginia DNA technologies company Intrexon, which earlier this year raised $100 million in a series E round of fundraising.
Charleston-based Immunologix has developed technology that transforms naïve B lymphocytes into antibodies that can target a wide range of antigens including cancer, viruses, bacteria and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and lupus.
(Read the announcement of the deal here.)
Immunologix’s mAbLogix technology platform was spun out of the Medical University of South Carolina. The company’s technology offers a safer, more reliable, less expensive and faster method of producing human antibodies. Current methods produce antibodies that are not human products. Immunologix’s patented in-vitro technology makes the human antibodies from cells recovered from tonsil tissue.
Financial terms of the biotech acquisition were not disclosed. Intrexon’s investors include Third Security, the investment firm launched by billionaire biotech investor Randal J. Kirk. Privately-held Intrexon, based in Blacksburg, Virginia, is a synthetic biology company that has developed ways to design and construct transgenes that have qualities and characteristics that would not typically be found in nature.
Gerardo Zapata, president of Intrexon’s protein production division, said that the global market for therapeutic and diagnostic antibodies is estimated to top $40 billion a year. The Immunologix acquisition will be paired with the recent launch of Intrexon’s new cell engineering unit in San Diego, California to discover, develop and produce human therapeutic antibodies.
Immunologix’s Charleston-based scientific team now becomes part of Intrexon’s protein production division in California. Immunologix co-founder and former COO Ryan Fiorini now becomes vice president of antibody development for that division.
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