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BioTime, LifeMap Acquiring XenneX

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BioTime and its wholly owned subsidiary LifeMap Sciences announced today it is acquiring XenneX for an undisclosed amount.

XenneX will be merged into LifeMap. The deal is expected to close in 30 days.

Xennex holds the exclusive rights to market the GeneCards and PanDaTox databases, developed at the Weizmann Institute. GeneCards is a searchable, integrated database of human genes that provides genomic, transcriptomic, genetic, proteomic, functional, and disease-related information on all known and predicted human genes, BioTime and LifeMap said.

PanDaTox can be used to identify genes and intergenic regions that are unclonable in E. coli to support new antibiotic development and for the discovery of new biotechnologically beneficial functional genes, the companies said. The database may also be used to improve the efficiency of metabolic engineering.

GeneCards and PanDaTox are marketed by XenneX under a license from Yeda Research, the technology transfer company of the Weizmann Institute.

Terms of the deal call for XenneX shareholders to receive 1,362,589 shares of LifeMap common stock, or about 13 percent of all LifeMap shares outstanding at the time of the closing of the deal. XenneX shareholders also will receive 448,430 shares of BioTime stock.

LifeMap also said today that it anticipates acquiring a license from Yeda Research to market the new MalaCards database of human diseases, also developed at the Weizmann Institute and expected to launch at the end of this year.

BioTime, based in Alameda, Calif., is a biotechnology firm focused on regenerative medicine and blood plasma volume expanders. LifeMap is developing a discovery platform "to aid research and product development efforts in the stem cells field, using embryonic stem cells, progenitor cells, induced pluripotent stem cells and other relevant cell types," according to the firm's website.

XenneX provides services and tools to biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and other life science companies for research purposes, and is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass.