Genome & Company's corporate logo (Genome & Company)
South Korean biotech firm Genome & Company will acquire a 60 percent stake in US-based contract development and manufacturing organization List Biological Laboratories for $27 million, the company announced Wednesday.
With the acquisition, Genome & Company, which specializes in immuno-oncology, seeks to secure materials needed for future clinical trials of microbiome-based therapies, CEO Bae Ji-soo told an online press conference.
Founded in 1978, List Labs is a CDMO firm that owns manufacturing facilities that produce over 100 bacterial reagent products and proteins.
Genome & Company, founded in 2015, currently operates pipelines for the development of microbiome-based therapies for immuno-oncology and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Oral microbiome therapeutic candidate GEN-001, for instance, is one of Genome & Company’s microbiome therapeutic candidates. Genome & Company has partnered with Pfizer, Merck and LG Chem to develop this treatment.
Bae said the latest acquisition is a preemptive move in its race to secure enough drug materials, which are expected to run short in the future.
According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, there are only 204 microbiome-based treatments under development. The market for microbiome-based treatments is expected to grow rapidly to 10.8 trillion won, from 62.4 billion won in 2018.
While securing a stable supply of bacterial products and proteins from List Labs, Genome & Company will also seek to generate revenue through List Labs’ CDMO capabilities.
Bae said the global market for microbiome CDMO could potentially grow to $581 million by 2024.
In the future, Genome & Company plans to attract investment to build additional CDMO facilities for microbiome products.
Bae said additional revenue from List Labs will accelerate the company’s development of novel drugs in the future.
He said the acquisition would help his firm to step up as a fully integrated pharmaceutical company with a value chain combining research, development, manufacturing, marketing and sales activities.
By Shim Woo-hyun (email@example.com