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Clinical Data (Newton, Massachusetts) said it has acquired privately-held Epidauros Biotechnologie (Bernried, Germany), for €8.75 million (about $11.84 million) in cash.

The U.S. firm said Epidauros brings “an established portfolio of proprietary genetic biomarkers, expertise in genetic biomarker discovery, relationships with leading diagnostic companies, and a fast-growing pharmacogenomics services business.”

Among the strategic assets acquired by Clinical Data in the transaction is a “significant intellectual property portfolio” that includes biomarkers in genes relating to prominent drug transporters such as MDR1(1), OCT1(2), MRP1(3) and what it called “important” cytochrome P450 drug-metabolizing genes, such as CYP2B6(4) and CYP2D6(5).

Clinical Data said MDR1 encodes P-glycoprotein, a key protein involved in drug transport that is known to modulate drug disposition. It said the genes CYP2B6, OCT1 and MRP1 are implicated in the absorption, distribution and metabolism of many drugs that span a variety of therapeutic classes and indications, “and are likely to be important in both response and safety profiles for these drugs.”

Drew Fromkin, president/CEO of Clinical Data, said, “We are pleased to have completed this highly strategic transaction, which we believe will enhance [our] ability to bring valuable, proprietary pharmacogenetic tests to market. Epidauros’ intellectual property portfolio holds great promise in critical areas related to drug transport and distribution. In turn, these genetic markers should play a significant role in better understanding drug response in individuals.”

He added that the acquisition “also brings to us the assets, know-how and staff for which Epidauros is so well-respected. In particular, Epidauros will provide Clinical Data with additional scientific expertise, biotechnology partnering capabilities and a deep understanding of European clinical markets.

“We expect the capabilities of Epidauros’ laboratories to complement those of Clinical Data and to contribute a strong local presence in the important German market. With our operations in the UK and France, this transaction provides Clinical Data with laboratories in three top European markets.”

Michael Lutz, PhD, CEO of Epidauros, has agreed to join Clinical Data’s PGxHealth unit as senior VP of pharmacogenetic partnerships, which Clinical Data said would “further advance the combined abilities of the two companies and expand [our] clinical testing and targeted therapeutics programs.”

He added: “We welcome the opportunity to become a part of Clinical Data and are excited to join forces and work toward building the world’s leading pharmacogenetic enterprise. At Epidauros, we are proud of our history of innovation and our track record with respect to providing pharmacogenetic solutions to many partners. We can now further leverage Epidauros’ and Cogenics’ support of pharmaceutical trials with our leading pharmaceutical clients.”

Lutz said that together, the companies have supported more than 1,000 clinical trials over the past several years. “Moreover, the combination of Clinical Data’s and our expertise and intellectual property will greatly enhance the collective ability of the companies to develop companion diagnostics to guide drug development and prescribing.”

Munir Pirmohamed, professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Liverpool, who collaborates with researchers at both companies, said the deal “combines the forces of two well-known companies in this field and provides the infrastructure and expertise to improve the evidence base that is needed to incorporate pharmacogenetic diagnostics into clinical practice.”

Clinical Data’s PGxHealth division focuses on genetic test and biomarker development to help predict drug safety and efficacy, thereby reducing healthcare costs and improving clinical outcomes. Its Cogenics division provides molecular and pharmacogenomics services to both research and regulated environments, and the Vital Diagnostics division offers in vitro diagnostics solutions for the clinical laboratory.

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