Fate Therapeutics has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Verio Therapeutics Inc., a privately held biotechnology company based in Ottawa, Ontario. The acquisition is a strong fit as Fate and Verio are leaders in a new pharmalogical approach to developing stem cell medicines – using small molecule and biologic drugs to stimulate the body’s existing stem cells to promote tissue regeneration and repair and treat disease.
For Fate, the acquisition achieves several goals:
Added pipeline of preclinical compounds in development behind Fate’s lead stem cell modulator, FT1050, which is in Phase 1B trials and is a small molecule drug administered during the normal course of a dual umbilical cord blood transplant and designed to enhance hematopoietic stem cell proliferation and homing. Verio’s programs include candidates for promoting the growth of new insulin producing ?-cells to treat diabetes and for regenerating cardiomyocytes following heart attack to treat severe cardiac dysfunction.
Expanded scientific expertise with the addition of several of Canada’s leading stem cell scientists, including Michael Rudnicki, Ph.D., FRSC, and Lynn Arthur Megeney, Ph.D., who have made breakthrough discoveries relating to muscle and pancreatic regeneration. For example, Dr. Rudnicki published a seminal paper last year in Cell Stem Cell that identified a way to isolate skeletal muscle stem cells, called satellite cells, and found that specifically modulating the Wnt pathway in satellite cells with Wnt7a could promote regeneration of muscle tissue and may be used to treat muscle wasting diseases, like sarcopenia.
Broadened scientific network and reach in North America with the establishment of a Canadian subsidiary, which will continue Verio’s discovery and development operations in Ottawa and through Verio’s relationships with the Stem Cell Network of Canada, the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa.
Both companies believe their pharmacologic approach to stem cell therapeutics will accelerate the translation of stem cell research into new medicines. No deal terms are being disclosed.
Date: April 12, 2010
Source: Fate Therapeutics