GERMANTOWN, Md. and SIOUX CENTER, Iowa, Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), a leader in synthetic biology, today announced it has launched a tender offer to acquire the remaining stake in Exemplar Genetics, a company committed to enabling the study of life-threatening human diseases. Utilizing its proprietary technologies in animal genetics, Exemplar has developed a broad pipeline of transgenic swine models for research and development of heart disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, cardiac arrhythmia, neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders. ExeGen LDLR-/-&+/- is the Company's most advanced porcine model designed to empower superior drug and device discovery in the area of cardiac disease.
"Generating reliable platforms to investigate human pathologies and test the efficacy of potential treatments is essential to progress in medical research," stated John R. Swart, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Exemplar Genetics. "We believe our cutting-edge genetic engineering capabilities combined with the power of Intrexon's synthetic biology technology platform have the potential to break new ground in creating animal models that more closely replicate human diseases."
Failure rates for drug development are greater than 80%, and incomplete safety or pharmacology evaluations in pre-clinical studies increase the risk of expensive clinical trial failures. Consequently, insufficient animal models create a significant barrier to progress in the discovery of disease mechanisms, as well as in the development of novel diagnostics, procedures, devices, prevention strategies, and therapeutics. This may hold particularly true in therapeutic development for genetic diseases and orphan indications, where there is currently no clear path for evaluation or an insufficient patient population, within the emerging fields of gene and cell therapy.
"The ability to have optimized cost efficient pre-human models of cardiovascular diseases including lipid disorders, rhythm disorders, and heart failure provides a unique opportunity to accelerate research time-lines with highly reproducible results to translate next generation biological therapies," said Amit N. Patel, M.D., M.S., Director of Clinical Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering, Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Utah.
By building custom designed models of genetic human disease through the use of its gene modification technology and model production system, Exemplar is closing the gap between genetically engineered rodent models and humans overcoming a long-standing challenge for the medical research industry. Miniature swine represent a powerful investigational platform since they are anatomically similar to humans and surpass many of the limitations of murine systems, including lack of translation and differences in size and metabolism. Miniature swine models developed by Exemplar Genetics have been detailed in more than 30 peer reviewed publications, as well as through studies conducted by contract research organizations.
"Disease models enabled by Exemplar's capabilities have the potential to facilitate development of therapeutic solutions as well as more accurately assess their effectiveness in addressing the underlying causes of rare genetic diseases," said Mark J. Pykett, V.M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Agilis Biotherapeutics, an Exclusive Channel Collaboration partner of Intrexon. "In particular, swine models that more closely resemble human anatomy and emulate difficult to treat disorders such as Friedreich's ataxia, a genetic neuromuscular disorder and Agilis' main focus today, could offer distinct advantages in engineering therapeutics to help improve patients' quality of life."
Gregory Frost, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Intrexon's Health Sector stated, "Exemplar's leading technologies and expertise provide the necessary infrastructure to facilitate humanized large animal disease model development and characterization. This ground-breaking research tool enabling better predictive efficacy in the generation of novel gene- and cell-based therapies and biologics for a range of disorders will be offered exclusively to Intrexon's channel partners along with our additional capabilities to progress collaborative programs."
Exemplar Genetics will be presenting its miniature swine preclinical oncology model expressing a cancer mutation in the TP53 gene at the Molecular Med Tri-Con Conference held in San Francisco, February 16-18. Data suggests the model is representative of the human condition in exhibiting lymphomas as well as osteogenic tumors and may be useful in facilitating development of approaches for detection and treatment of cancers. "This new mini-swine model of cancer opens the door to developing more effective imaging approaches and therapies for tumor detection and treatment, and we are very excited to present our findings during the conference," said Dr. Swart.
About Exemplar Genetics
Exemplar Genetics enables discovery by providing models and services that aid scientists in the development of next-generation procedures, devices and therapeutics. Through its innovative models and AAALAC-certified facilities, Exemplar Genetics assists researchers in making advances in the discovery of human disease mechanisms, the optimization of novel diagnostics, and the development of new treatments. For more information, visit www.exemplargenetics.com.
About Intrexon Corporation
Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON) is a leader in synthetic biology focused on collaborating with companies in Health, Food, Energy, Environment, and Consumer Sectors to create biologically-based products that improve the quality of life and the health of the planet. Through the company's proprietary UltraVector® platform, Intrexon provides its partners with industrial-scale design and development of complex biological systems. The UltraVector® platform delivers unprecedented control over the quality, function, and performance of living cells. We call our synthetic biology approach and integrated technologies Better DNA®, and we invite you to discover more at www.dna.com.
Intrexon, UltraVector, and Better DNA are trademarks of Intrexon and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Safe Harbor Statement Some of the statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties and are made pursuant to the Safe harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon Intrexon's current expectations and projections about future events and generally relate to Intrexon's plans, objectives and expectations for the development of Intrexon's business. Although management believes that the plans and objectives reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking statements are reasonable, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and actual future results may be materially different from the plans, objectives and expectations expressed in this press release. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, (i) Intrexon's current and future ECCs and joint ventures; (ii) developments concerning Intrexon's collaborators; (iii) Intrexon's ability to successfully enter new markets or develop additional products, whether with its collaborators or independently; (iv) competition from existing technologies and products or new technologies and products that may emerge; (v) actual or anticipated variations in Intrexon's operating results; (vi) actual or anticipated fluctuations in Intrexon's competitors' or its collaborators' operating results or changes in their respective growth rates; (vii) Intrexon's cash position; (viii) market conditions in Intrexon's industry; (ix) Intrexon's ability, and the ability of its collaborators, to protect Intrexon's intellectual property and other proprietary rights and technologies; (x) Intrexon's ability, and the ability of its collaborators, to adapt to changes in laws or regulations and policies; (xi) the ability of Intrexon's collaborators to secure any necessary regulatory approvals to commercialize any products developed under the ECCs; (xii) the rate and degree of market acceptance of any products developed by a collaborator under an ECC; (xiii) Intrexon's ability to retain and recruit key personnel; (xiv) Intrexon's expectations related to the use of proceeds from its initial public offering; (xv) Intrexon's estimates regarding expenses, future revenue, capital requirements and needs for additional financing; and (xvi) Intrexon's expectations relating to Trans Ova, AquaBounty and any other consolidated subsidiaries. For a discussion of other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause Intrexon's actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Intrexon's Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in Intrexon's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Intrexon undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.
For more information contact:
Intrexon Corporation Contacts:
Marie Rossi, Ph.D.
Senior Manager, Technical Communications
Tel: +1 (301) 556-9850
Vice President, Investor Relations
Tel: +1 (561) 410-7052
SOURCE Intrexon Corporation