Precision Therapeutics and Helomics have agreed to fully merge and cement their already close ties, pending approval from the stockholders of both companies. The bid aims to provide Precision with full access to Helomics’ artificial intelligence, diagnostics laboratories and integrated contract research offerings.
Helomics’ management is set to remain in place and will continue to help manage Precision’s TumorGenesis subsidiary, which focuses on developing patient-derived tumor models for personalized cancer therapy and drug development.
Under the deal, Precision will acquire 100% of the company, up from its current 25% equity stake. Once the merger is complete, all outstanding Helomics shares will be converted into the right to receive a proportionate number of 7.5 million newly issued shares of Precision common stock. Precision had announced it intended to purchase the remaining shares in April.
The two companies have been tangled in each other’s orbits for some time; Precision was born out of a joint venture between Skyline Medical and Helomics, while Helomics itself originally went by the nigh-ubiquitous industry moniker of Precision Therapeutics, as well. (Not to be confused with CAR-T developer Precision BioSciences, or the Bethesda, Maryland-based CRO-type company Precision for Medicine).
“Completing this definitive merger agreement represents a milestone in our strategy to cement our leadership position in the precision oncology market,” said Carl Schwartz, CEO of the Eagan, Minnesota-based Precision.
“Upon completion of the merger, we will have complete ownership of Helomics’ one of a kind tumor database, which has been developed over 15 years of clinical testing and contains drug response profiles of over 149,000 patient cancer tumors, and its D-CHIP bioinformatics engine that provides actionable insights into this data,” Schwartz said in a statement.
TumorGenesis is now being integrated into and operating under Helomics, and will collaborate to test tumors with the Pittsburgh-based CRO and cancer diagnostics company. TumorGenesis’ models were first developed for multiple myeloma, triple-negative breast cancer and ovarian cancer.