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Biotech Startup Buys Drug Company Stake

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted August 10, 2012

Intrexon, a biotechnology startup, has planned to buy 3.6 million shares from Synthetic Biologics (NYSEAMEX: SYN).

The deal with the drug company is part of an effort to focus on creating monoclonal antibodies for infectious diseases. Intrexon is backed by billionaire Randal Kirk, who provided part of Intrexon’s $75 million capital earlier this year.

The company wants to translate its technologies into commercial benefits, and a deal like this will help them achieve that, Fierce Biotech reports.

Rather than seeking out cash, Intrexon has been carving out ownership in partnerships and the resulting royalties from future product sales. In the past, Intrexon pushed through similar deals with Oragenics and Ziopharm. The company stands to own an 18 percent stake in Synthetic Biologics after this deal closes.

As part of the deal, Synthetic Biologics will rely on Intrexon for three platforms to fully create human antibodies. Initially, they will focus on three infectious diseases which cannot be addressed with extant antibodies. Later on, this could expand to five.

From Fierce Biotech:

“We look forward to applying Intrexon’s competencies to the development of a series of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of infectious diseases that take a tremendous worldwide toll on human life,” Synthetic Biologics’ CEO Jeffrey Riley said in a statement, “and to disclosing more about our discovery targets in the near future.”

While Synthetic Biologics can readily use Intrexon’s technology to further its medical research and development, the startup intends to look into strengthening its synthetic biotech toward industry scales. That, after all, is where Kirk and other shareholders stand to gain the most.