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Ignyta Buys Personalized Medicine Firm Actagene

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Ignyta said on Monday it has acquired biotech firm Actagene for an undisclosed amount.

The deal, according to Ignyta, will transition it from a company focused solely on molecular diagnostics for autoimmune diseases to "an integrated Rx/Dx focus on drug and biomarker discovery and development for cancer and immunology."

Actagene was founded this past February and like Ignyta is headquartered in San Diego. It developed personalized medicines for "high unmet need cancer indications, based on cancer genome mining and sequencing," Ignyta said. It has a proprietary database called Oncolome, which it applies along with other technologies such as synthetic lethal screening, X-ray crystallography, and structure-based drug design to develop new chemical entities against genetic targets that in certain cancer populations are enriched.

As part of the deal, a number of Actagene's executives will join Ignyta, including CEO Patrick O'Connor, who will become CSO and SVP, head of research at Ignyta.

"The Actagene acquisition provides Ignyta with a strategic entry into oncology personalized medicine, an area with high unmet medical need and opportunities to give patients customized treatment options that leverage Ignyta's biomarker discovery capabilities," Ignyta Chairman and CEO Jonathan Lim said in a statement.

In February Ignyta announced a $1.1 million loan facility, and month prior to that it raised $5.5 million in a Series B financing round.