Intrexon Makes Offer to Acquire Exemplar Genetics

Margarida Azevedo, MSc avatar

by Margarida Azevedo, MSc |

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Exemplar GeneticsIntrexon Corporation has made an offer for the total acquisition of Exemplar Genetics, which is a company dedicated to study the treatment of life-threatening conditions, such as Friedreich’s ataxia, heart disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, cardiac arrhythmia, as well as neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders. The company provides transgenic swine models for research, and the tender offer is meant for acquiring the remaining stake of Exemplar Genetics, as announced in a press release.

The trangenic swine models are expected to reduce gaps in drug development, as well as increase safety and pharmacology evaluation within pre-clinical trials. In addition, animal models are often insufficient, creating barriers to advancing research. Therefore, Exemplar’s new system helps accelerate findings in order to improve diagnostics, procedures, devices, prevention strategies, and therapeutics.

“Generating reliable platforms to investigate human pathologies and test the efficacy of potential treatments is essential to progress in medical research,” stated the president and chief executive officer of Exemplar Genetics, John R. Swart, Ph.D.  “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.”

In addition, the benefits of transonic swine models are even more useful to the study of therapies for genetic or orphan diseases, since there is greater lack of options for assessing therapies as well as patients to participate in trials when it comes to orphan diseases. “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,” explained the president and CEO of Intrexon’s partner, Agilis Biotherapeutics, Mark J. Pykett, V.M.D., Ph.D.

Exemplar’s models are customized from genetic human models of diseases and are designed with gene modification technology and model production system. In addition, the miniature swine models are anatomically similar to the human physiognomy, which enables researchers to overcome several research limitations. “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,” added Mark J. Pykett.

“Exemplar’s leading technologies and expertise provide the necessary infrastructure to facilitate humanized large animal disease model development and characterization,” stated Gregory Frost, Ph.D., the senior vice president and head of Intrexon’s Health Sector. “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.”

The new product from the company is a miniature swine model with preclinical oncology application, which will be presented at the Molecular Med Tri-Con Conference that is taking place in San Francisco, between February 16 and 18. “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 Swart.