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CTI to Buy TGen-Affiliated PGx Drug Maker for At Least $20M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Oncology products maker Cell Therapeutics has struck a deal to buy Systems Medicine, a pharmacogenomics-focused cancer drug company co-founded by Translational Genomics Research Institute’s physician-in-chief, Daniel Von Hoff, CTI said yesterday.
 
In a stock merger valued at around $20 million, with the potential for an extra $15 million more in milestone payments going to SMi stockholders, CTI intends to use “SMi’s strategic affiliation with TGen” to guide “clinical trials toward patient populations where the highest likelihood of success should be observed, thereby potentially lowering risk and shortening time to market.”
 
Tucson, Ariz.-based SMi focuses on using pharmacogenomic profiling to develop oncology drugs that target what it calls “the tenderloin” of patients that may benefit from a drug through clinical trials.  
 
Under the terms of the agreement, SMi will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of CTI where it will use its genomic-based platform to guide development of CTI's oncology products.
 
Von Hoff, who is also director of the Clinical Translational Research Division at TGen and chief scientific officer of U.S. Oncology, is expected to head CTI's “strategic product portfolio committee.”
 
Richard Love, a founder of SMi and former founder and CEO of ILEX Oncology, is expected to join CTI's board.

According to a statement, SMi “applies a systems biology approach to drug development, combining pharmacogenomics and bioinformatics with experienced preclinical, clinical, and regulatory expertise to find and exploit a specific cancer's 'context-of-vulnerability.'”

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