Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Genedrive Agrees to Sell Research, Pharmacogenomics Divisions for £1.9M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – UK-based Genedrive announced today that it has signed a conditional agreement with a firm called Epistem 2 to sell its contract research and pharmacogenomics divisions for a cash consideration of up to £1.9 million ($2.6 million), as part of a strategy to focus entirely on the molecular diagnostics market.

The sale has been contemplated since March 2016, when Genedrive — formerly known as Epistem — informed shareholders of its intention to undertake a review of the strategic options for its pharmacogenomics, contract research services, and novel therapies operations, as part of its six-month earnings results announcement. Genedrive said the strategy will allow it to focus resources on areas that can deliver superior returns for shareholders.

Venture capital trust manager Foresight Group is funding Epistem 2's purchase of the two Genedrive divisions. Of the £1.9 million purchase price, approximately £1.2 million will be paid in cash upon completion of the sale, and the balance is payable subject to Epistem 2 making successful claims for certain tax credits in the 36 months following completion of the deal. Genedrive director Catherine Booth is also a director and material shareholder in Epistem 2. At the completion of the sale, Booth will resign as a director of Genedrive.

Genedrive recently completed validation studies for its point-of-care molecular diagnostics platform and assay for hepatitis C virus (HCV). The firm's hand-held portable device demonstrated improved sensitivity and specificity across all major HCV genotypes, and has an end-user price of around $4,000.

Genedrive will convene a general meeting in June to approve a resolution authorizing the disposal.

Genedrive CEO David Budd said in a statement that the removal of the service business is in line with the firm's focus on the patient molecular diagnostic market.

"We believe Genedrive can play an important role in the diagnosis and management of HCV in territories where access to centralized laboratories is limited," Budd added. "We also plan to re-enter the large [tuberculosis] market and expect to capitalize on other opportunities in markets where Genedrive's speed, cost and accessibility provide tangible benefits to end users."

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.