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Nuclea Bio Acquires Oncogene Science, Extends Deal with Wilex

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Just a few months after announcing several new partnerships and landing venture capital dollars, Nuclea Biotechnologies Inc. has snapped up Oncogene Science, an Cambridge, Mass.-based subsidiary of Wilex AG in Germany.

The Pittsfield, Mass.-based company, with offices in Worcester, acquired all of the shares of Oncogene (Wilex Inc.) and will assume the assets of the company and take over repayment of a $2.5 million loan between the company and Wilex AG.
Nuclea paid $5 million for the 11-person company and all of the employees will transition over to Nuclea, Spokesperson Greg D’Agostino said.

In addition, under the terms of the deal, Wilex AG is eligible for single-digit royalties on net sales of the HER-2/neu and CAIX assays. Oncogene offers biomarker tests that measure oncogenes and the growth factor receptors (HER-2/neu), proteases and protease inhibitors.

“The deal is a major step for Nuclea,” Nuclea President and CEO Patrick Muraca said in a statement. “This acquisition presented us with an opportunity to strengthen Nuclea’s portfolio and continue to move into the commercial realm.”

As part of the overall deal, Wilex AG and Nuclea have agreed to a development deal in which Nuclea will develop an automated CAIX IVD IHC assay to be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under investigational device exemption. CAIX Dx is slated to be used in a planned pivotal study with RENCAREX as a potential future companion diagnostic in the treatment of clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Nuclea will handle the cost of development, which will save Wilex AG at lease $2.5 million, according to the company. In addition, there will be a transfer to Nuclea of all distribution and marketing agreements for the marketed Onogene Science tests and Nuclea will purchase GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) facility in Cambridge.

The deal does not come as a surprise as Nuclea, which develops biomarkers and diagnostic tests for various types of cancer, and Oncogene have been partners in marketing the serum HER-2/neu ELISA since early 2013.

The move comes less than three months after Nuclea announced a $1 million public-private partnership with a New York State-owned nanotech center. At that time, Muraca told MHT that Nuclea and SUNY are contributing to the collaboration in both money and other resources.

Just one day before announcing the SUNY deal, Nuclea announced a partnership with Berkshire Medical Center (BMC), in which the 50-plus person company will be able to study tissue samples from consenting patients, with the aim of developing tests to predict the best course of treatment for prostate and breast cancer patients.

Source: Boston Business Journal