HiberCell, a clinical-stage biotech company that uses artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques to develop oncology drugs, is adding to its repertoire by acquiring a genomics insights service provider that uses its tools to reveal the causes of cancer and other diseases.
The acquisition of Genuity Science is an all-stock deal between the two privately held companies. New York-based HiberCell will make Genuity a subsidiary. Meanwhile, Genuity brings to the table about $100 million in cash plus existing drug research alliances with Ionis Pharmaceuticals and AbbVie.
HiberCell launched in 2019 backed by a nearly $61 million Series A funding round. Building on research from Mount Sinai’s Tisch Cancer Institute, the biotech set out to develop therapies that address cancer that cancer relapse or metastasis, two of the biggest factors leading to cancer deaths. The company’s two most advanced programs are in mid-stage clinical development for treating melanoma and breast cancer. Both are being evaluated in combination with a type of immunotherapy called a checkpoint inhibitor. In May, HiberCell raised $67.4 million in Series B financing along with $30 million in debt financing to support clinical development of its pipeline.
The business that became Genuity came from Shanghai-based contract research organization WuXi AppTec. The company dubbed this bioinformatics division WuXi NextCODE. But in response to new regulations in China barring the export of Chinese human genetic information, the parent company restructured to separate this business from its China operations. WuXi NextCODE completed the separation last year and announced the new name of the Boston-based company was Genuity Science.
The $100 million that Genuity has in its coffers will help support HiberCell’s clinical development plans now. But the acquisition is also expected to support the biotech’s R&D in the years to come. HiberCell said that as Genuity’s partnerships with Ionis and AbbVie progress, milestone payments achieved under those deals will further support clinical development of the company’s own drug pipeline.
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