The drug discovery group e-Therapeutics PLC (LON:ETX) has announced a deal to acquire a developer of search engine technology for up to £2.32mln.
Searchbolt, the business being bought, was spun-off from ETX when the latter was listed on stock market in 2007.
Searchbolt’s main asset is an exclusive licence to use the technology ETX deploys in network pharmacology used to identify drug candidates.
The deal is partly defensive as it brings under one roof all the intellectual property related to treatments it may soon commercialise.
But the AIM-listed group has also identified the potential to use of Searchbolt in the field of social media.
ETX chief executive Malcolm Young owns around 32% of Searchbolt, and will receive initial payment for his stake mainly in shares.
About the company
The drug developer is making significant progress and is now targeting partners to accelerate the development of its drug discovery engine and commercialise compounds.
ETX is a drug discoverer with a proprietary platform based on advances in network pharmacology, an approach which analyses how disease patterns work.
So far, the engine, which is the group's core focus, has identified thousands of new molecules in medical and commercial areas.
But it is now focused on discoveries in the immuno-oncology space, currently a buzz area, which is focused on drug resistance to targeted cancer therapies.
It is worth noting, that the firm's platform is generating multiple and potent molecules in this field - more than for conventional drug discovery.
Its drug pipeline
The firm has finished a phase IIb trial on its most advanced candidate for a major depressive disorder - ETS6103 is now complete and results support the target product profile and it is now progressing sets to potentially out-license the drug.
It showed fewer side effects and better tolerance profile than current post-SSRI treatment (a class of drugs often used as first-line antidepressants, such as amitriptyline).
Phase I clinical trials in cancer for flagship candidate ETS2101 are now complete for treating hepatocellular carcinoma and pancreatic cancer and established an acceptable dose for this product candidate and important information about how it would be taken by the patient.