Emerillon Therapeutics Inc.

Emerillon Therapeutics Inc.

October 07, 2005 11:00 ET

Emerillon Therapeutics Completes Acquisition of HemaX Genome

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 7, 2005) - Emerillon Therapeutics Inc. and HemaX Genome Inc. announced today during BioContact Quebec 2005 that they have signed on September 23rd a definitive purchase agreement whereby Emerillon will acquire all the outstanding shares of HemaX. The merger will create a leading target discovery company, combining Emerillon's drug discovery programs in neurology, pain, asthma and atherosclerosis with those of HemaX in hematopoiesis and immunological disorders.

"This merger brings together two leaders in the Canadian biotech industry and creates a target discovery company that can ably compete on the world stage", said Guy Rouleau, President & CSO, Emerillon Therapeutics Inc. "Together we have broad access to highly informative clinical populations and disease databases, drug discovery programs in the areas of pain, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders and immunology, powerful comparative genomics technology, and a growing portfolio of novel disease-related genes and drug targets."

"We are delighted to join with Emerillon to create an organization with the critical mass to accelerate our multiple drug discovery programs," added Dr. Lambert Busque, President of HemaX. "HemaX has made good scientific progress in its research programs and now requires the resources and business expertise that Emerillon brings to develop new drugs from these discoveries." HemaX's scientific founder - Dr. Lambert Busque - will maintain an active role within Emerillon and contribute to its research programs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Emerillon will acquire all the outstanding shares of HemaX in exchange for shares of Emerillon. Emerillon's major shareholders, Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc and Genome Quebec, are pleased to welcome GeneChem and RSEM, two major investors in HemaX, as shareholders in Emerillon. GeneChem Technologies, will also make an equity investment in Emerillon as part of the transaction and GeneChem's Louis Lacasse will join Emerillon's Board of Directors.

"This is the first major involvement of venture capital investment in a Genome Quebec initiated company," concluded Paul L'Archeveque, President, Genome Quebec. "We are very pleased by this next step taken as it clearly demonstrates a real and strong interest by the venture capital community in an early-stage genomics research company started through funding by Genome Canada and Genome Quebec."

About Emerillon Therapeutics Inc.

Emerillon Therapeutics is a privately held genomics-based drug discovery company dedicated to the discovery of novel drug targets in human complex diseases through its unique RCS mouse platform technology, its access to human patient samples, and its expertise in high throughput mutation screening and ion channel genomics. Emerillon was formed in January 2003 as a spinoff from Xenon Pharmaceuticals, and with major funding from Genome Canada and Genome Quebec. Emerillon scientists are world leaders in human and mouse genetics with proven expertise in the discovery and understanding of the genes associated with human complex diseases. The company has exclusive access and commercial rights to a unique collection of recombinant congenic strains (RCS) of mice, engineered over a ten year period, that can be used to genetically dissect complex diseases and identify novel drug targets. The mice are used to identify and validate human genes important in cardiovascular disease, pain, epilepsy, osteoporosis and asthma. Furthermore, Emerillon also has broad access to unique human DNA samples collected through its network of clinical collaborators. A high throughput mutation screen is presently underway to identify human ion channel genes important in epilepsy, migraine, Tourette syndrome, bipolar disorder and essential tremor. These complementary human and mouse genetic approaches dramatically increase Emerillon's ability to identify novel clinically relevant drug targets associated with human complex diseases.

About HemaX Genome Inc.

HemaX Genome is a privately owned Montreal-based company focused on the identification of genes of medical interest localized on the X chromosome. Apart from completing the mapping of a gene on the X chromosome involved in regulating hematopoiesis, HemaX also applies its gene-discovery platform to other genes responsible for diseases showing an unequal distribution amongst genders.

About Genome Quebec

Genome Quebec is a private, not-for-profit organization that invests in and manages financial resources from the public and private sectors. It is currently managing projects in six key sectors: human health, bioinformatics, ethics, environment, forestry and agriculture. It has created over 700 jobs since being created in 2000, and helped establish the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre in Montreal, a world-class research facility that is underpinning Quebec's position in the global arena.

This release contains forward-looking statements that are not based on historical fact. These forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

Contact Information

  • Emerillon Therapeutics Inc.
    Dr. Guy Rouleau
    President and Chief Scientific Officer
    (514) 985-0306
    Emerillon Therapeutics Inc.
    Dr. Ronald G. Lafreniere
    General Manager and Director of Research
    (514) 985-0306
    HemaX Genome
    Marc Lussier
    (514) 830-5143 (cell)
    Genome Quebec
    Marie-Kym Brisson
    Director of Communications
    (514) 398-0668 or (514) 603-3100