NEW YORK, June 28 – A month after announcing that it had obtained the option to acquire Gendaq, Sangamo Biosciences said Thursday that it has signed a definitive purchase agreement.
The merger of the two companies, which have both developed zinc finger DNA-binding protein (ZFP) technology for gene expression analysis and other applications, consolidates almost all ZFP intellectual property in Sangamo’s portfolio. Gendaq's founders published much of the seminal science while researchers at the UK's Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
To acquire Gendaq, Sangamo will issue 2,125,000 shares of its common stock to assume all of Gendaq’s outstanding shares, and an additional 125,000 shares to assume Gendaq’s outstanding options. The deal values London-based Gendaq at approximately $30 million, Sangamo said.
Sir Aaron Klug, a co-founder of Gendaq and former director of the MRC's Laboratory for Molecular Biology, will join Sangamo’s board of scientific advisors. Yen Choo, a co-founder and former MRC researcher, will continue to head Gendaq’s UK laboratory. In addition, Timothy Brears, another co-founder and current Gendaq CEO, will have “expanded strategic and business development responsibilities,” according to a statement.
By acquiring Gendaq, Sangamo will add a team of 16 scientists, two issued patents, and 22 patent applications, as well as $5 million in cash.
Zinc finger DNA-binding proteins are a specific class of DNA trascription factors that allow researchers to both overexpress and suppress gene expression. Gendaq and Sangamo have touted ZFP technology as a powerful tool for discovering potential drug targets in gene expression studies, as well as for therapeutically regulating genes associated with disease.