Celsion Corp. has entered an agreement to acquire the assets of EGEN, Inc. in exchange for cash and shares of Celsion totaling $14 million. EGEN is also eligible to receive a total of $30.4 million in future payments based on clinical development and licensing milestones. The acquisition, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in June 2014.
Celsion gains EGEN’s Phase Ib DNA-based immunotherapy candidate EGEN-001 and its therapeutic platform technologies, TheraPlas for delivery of DNA and mRNA, TheraSilence for delivery of RNA, and RAST for Cell Enabled Expression and Secretion of RNA. The combined companies will create an integrated, oncology-focused R&D company with a clinical pipeline and platform technologies for the discovery of nucleic acid-based immunotherapies and other anti-cancer DNA/RNA therapies.
"As a combined company, Celsion-EGEN will be focused on the leading-edge of cancer treatment, with assets in directed chemotherapies, immunotherapies and DNA- or RNA-based therapies, said Michael Tardugno, Celsion's president and chief executive officer. “With clinical programs in Phases III, II and I, and an extensive pipeline of pre-clinical product candidates, Celsion-EGEN will be well positioned to deliver innovative new therapies to address areas of pressing unmet medical need in oncology.”
Khursheed Anwer, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer of EGEN, said, "Since EGEN was founded twelve years ago, our team has worked to develop technologies that overcome the delivery barriers that have kept nucleic acid-based therapies from achieving their full potential and significant promise. By joining with Celsion now, we add not only the operational and managerial expertise to accelerate development of these assets and technologies, but gain access to the added financial resources of an established public company."