SillaJen Inc., a privately-held biotherapeutics company focused on the development of targeted oncolytic immunotherapy products for cancer, announced that it had completed the acquisition of San Francisco-based Jennerex Inc.
Jennerex is a clinical-stage, biotherapeutics company recognized for its development of best-in-class targeted oncolytic immunotherapies. SillaJen will continue the development of the late-stage product Pexa-Vec (JX-594), as well as products from both companies’ pipelines. Jennerex is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of SillaJen.
“We are very excited to achieve this defining moment in SillaJen’s history,” said Dr. Eun-Sang Moon, chief executive officer of SillaJen. “The strategic acquisition of Jennerex is a natural evolution of the long-standing collaboration between the two companies, solidifying SillaJen’s position as a global leader in the emerging and exciting field of oncolytic immunotherapy.”
Dr. David Kirn, founder of Jennerex and Chairman of the SillaJen board of directors, said: “SillaJen’s acquisition of its long-standing research and development partner positions it as the world leader in oncolytic immunotherapy. Positive Pexa-Vec clinical data have recently been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Nature and Nature Medicine. The incredible potential of this emerging multi-mechanistic therapeutic class has also been validated by the demonstration of a survival benefit in front-line advanced cancer patients with both Pexavec and Amgen’s T-Vec in randomized Phase 2 and 3 trials, respectively. We look forward to working with our global partners to bring Pexa-Vec into a Phase 3 pivotal trial for front-line treatment of patients with advanced liver cancer. Pexa-Vec has also demonstrated objective and durable tumor responses in other common cancer types, and these will be the focus of upcoming clinical trials. These trials will study Pexa-Vec as both a single agent and in combination with checkpoint inhibitor therapies.”
Wedbush PacGrow Life Sciences, Korea Ratings and Dong-Bu Securities Co. Ltd. acted as financial advisors to SillaJen, while Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal advisor. Centerview Partners LLC and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP advised Jennerex.
Date: March 18, 2014