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Angle to Buy Axela, Plans to Raise £12.2M in Share Placement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Angle said today that it intends to acquire certain assets, including intellectual property, fixed assets, inventory, employees, and a property leasehold interest, from University of Toronto microarray spinout Axela, for a total of £3.7 million ($4.9 million).

To fund the acquisition, the company is proposing a placing of shares and subscriptions that would raise approximately £12.2 million ($16 million) before expenses. This would include 29,437,152 new ordinary shares and subscriptions of 5,352,026 new ordinary shares — both at 35 pence per share — through finnCap and WG Partners, who are acting as joint brokers.

According to Angle, certain subscribers, including company director Ian Griffiths and various other staff members, intend to subscribe for 772,857 new ordinary shares.

In addition, Covington Fund II, Axela's major shareholder and creditor, has conditionally agreed to subscribe for 4,579,169 shares and to enter into an 18-month lock-in arrangement.

The placing and general subscription shares, together with the Covington subscription, would represent approximately 46.5 per cent of Angle's existing ordinary shares, the firm said.

By acquiring Axela, Angle hopes to expand its liquid biopsy capabilities by pairing its Parsortix circulating tumor cell system with a multiplex tool for measuring DNA, RNA, and protein expression.

According to Angle, Axela's technology offers many of the advantages of next-generation sequencing at the lower cost of PCR. And it is "particularly well suited" to Angle's proposed clinical applications.

Angle Founder and CEO Andrew Newland said in a statement that the combination would allow Angle to offer a "full liquid biopsy 'sample-to-answer' solution."

Angle already paired Axela's analysis platform with Parsortix in a 200-patient study in ovarian cancer, and proceeds from the shares placement that don’t go toward the acquisition will be used to fund the optimization and validation of the ovarian cancer test that the two firms have been working on.

"Angle's strategy remains to partner [Parsortix] with as many downstream analysis technologies as possible … [and] to become the adopted standard for harvesting cancer cells for analysis from blood across a wide range of clinical applications in different cancer types," Newland added.