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DNA Sciences Enters Deal to Acquire PPGx

NEW YORK, Dec 18 - DNA Sciences said Monday it had entered an agreement to acquire PPGx, a pharmacogenomics products and services company, in an all stock deal.

In a statement DNA Sciences, which collects and studies DNA samples for disease-relevant SNPs, said that the combined companies would integrate their different scientific methodologies and research programs and pool patient sample collections.

DNA Sciences has developed a drug discovery system to identify gene variants that may be associated with disease susceptibility, disease course, and treatment response. PPGx, a joint venture between PPD And Axys, focuses on determining how genetic variations affect drug metabolism.

”By combining the scientific expertise and genetic data resources of these
two companies, we believe we will accelerate efforts to develop and introduce
DNA-based clinical diagnostics and therapeutics,” Hugh Rienhoff, founder, chairman and CEO of DNA Sciences, said in a statement.

“We believe the acquisition of this commercial infrastructure will help expedite
the development and marketing of DNA-based clinical tests that will help to
manage the diagnosis and treatment of common diseases more effectively,” he said.

Under the terms of the deal, DNA Sciences will issue preferred stock to PPD and Axys in exchange for all the outstanding stock and options in PPGx.  Prior to closing, PPD will increase its equity stake in PPGx to an ownership position equal to that of Axys’.  PPD will also purchase an additional amount of preferred shares of DNA Sciences.

PPD will continue to serve as the exclusive marketer and distributor of PPGx’s pharmacogenomics products and services. PPD and DNA Sciences said they planned to work together to identify future opportunities to apply the new company's genetics research and expertise to pharmaceutical product development.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

“This alliance is a logical and strategically important step for PPD in
furthering our commitment to genomic research and bolstering our ability to
incorporate genetics into the discovery and development of diagnostics and
therapeutics,” said Fred Eshelman, CEO of PPD.

“We believe this alliance will create a genomics effort whose resources and expertise span the continuum of drug discovery, development, disease management and clinical practice,” he said.

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