Tepnel acquires Diaclone Research

Related tags Monoclonal antibodies

Tepnel announced it had completed the acquistion of Diaclone
Research adding customisable monoclonal antibodies (mABs),
complimentary reagents and ELISA test kits to its range of life
sciences instrumentation and services.

The acquisition is a move on Tepnel's part to expand its portfolio of diagnostic and service offerings to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies' drug discovery efforts in Europe, US and the Far East.

On a strategic level the forging of strategic alliances between biotech and pharma companies makes good business sense. With monetary resources at their disposal, pharmaceutical companies have been crucial to later-stage development and successful marketing of novel MAbs.

For biotech companies, collaborations with pharma companies set the stage not only for further increases in investment but can also cause regulatory bodies to look more favourably on the product.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tepnel has acquired Diaclone Research from OPi SAS for €2.3 million. Tepnel also assume full control of its facilities based in Besançon, France.

Tepnel purchased Diaclone by raising €6 million through the placing of 74,477,000 shares at a price of 5.65 pence per share with shareholders in the UK and US.

Speaking of the acquistion, Ben Matzilevich, Tepnel's chief executive officer commented: "The acquisition of Diaclone Research marks the next stage in our development and enhancing the further expansion of our molecular diagnostic product offering in USA, Europe, and the Far East."

"Diaclone Research will provide us the necessary mABs diagnostic kits for predicting and identifying a number of factors associated with organ transplantation and rejection and autoimmune diseases."

The acquisition of Diaclone​ with its existing catalogue products and antibody development capabilities is expected to have a positive impact on Tepnel's revenues and earnings in 2005 and beyond. The company is expected to build upon last year's financial results in which Tepnel​ posted a 2003 profit turnover of £2.6 million (€3.7 million).

Diaclone Research produces and customises MAbs, complimentary reagents and diagnostic test kits. These MAb's are used in a variety of laboratory tests, including ELISA, Eli spot, flow cytometry, cell sorting, tissue staining and functional assays. Amongst the principal benefits of MAbs is their ability to target specific cells or chemical mediators that could be involved in disease causation.

According to strategic market consultants Frost and Sullivan, more focused targets coupled with significant advances in genetic engineering are driving interest in therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

The total therapeutic monoclonal antibodies market was estimated at $296 million (€246 million) in 2002, and is projected to surge to $2.8 billion by 2010. A flurry of product launches and high treatment price is expected to underpin the highest growth potential of the autoimmune and inflammatory disorders segment. MAbs indicated for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's, in particular, are poised to drive revenue growth.

While this situation has provided impetus to MAbs, market success will depend on clearly demonstrating their clinical benefits as well as rationalising high costs. The price of currently available monoclonal antibody therapies is far higher than that of conventional drug treatments, but is comparable to other novel therapies with similar indications.

Related topics Clinical Development

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