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Germany's Sygnis Acquires Genetrix's X-Pol Subsidiary Following Qiagen Polymerase Deal


German pharmaceutical company Sygnis Pharma said today that it is acquiring X-Pol Biotech, a subsidiary of Spanish biotechnology holding company Genetrix, in a bid to further develop and market X-Pol's DNA sequencing technologies and products, including its DNA polymerase technology.

News of the acquisition follows an announcement earlier this week that X-Pol had inked an exclusive, worldwide licensing deal with Qiagen for the polymerase, called Qualiphi.

The acquisition calls for Sygnis to obtain full ownership of X-Pol by way of capital increase against contribution in kind. As such, X-Pol will become a subsidiary of Sygnis with existing X-Pol shareholders expected to hold 77.5 percent of Sygnis shares, the companies said.

Further financial details were not disclosed.

Sygnis plans to focus on building X-Pol's DNA sequencing business and related activities for molecular diagnostics applications, Frank Rathgeb, CMO of Sygnis, said in a statement.

Founded in 2011, Genetrix serves as an incubator for Spanish biotech spinouts from academic institutions. It has invested more than €36 million ($44.2 million) in nine companies with a focus on healthcare technologies, human therapies, and diagnostics.

X-Pol was founded in 2008 by Genetrix and Luis Blanco to develop technologies for DNA amplification and sequencing. The company claims that its flagship product, Qualiphi, can increase the performance of DNA amplification, particularly of large DNA fragments and complete genomes. The enzyme also enables a wide range of other applications including DNA amplification, repair, and modification of genetic targets of research and clinical interest.

Earlier this week, Genetrix announced that X-Pol had licensed Qualiphi to Qiagen on an exclusive worldwide basis, the company's first agreement of that kind. Qiagen did not detail how it plans to use the polymerase.

Genetrix and X-Pol licensed the Qualiphi technology in 2010 from the Spanish National Research Council.