GERMANTOWN, MD — Intrexon Corp., maker of genetic therapies as well as technology for a non-browning apple, announced Tuesday it plans to acquire GenVec Inc., a company whose leading product fights hearing loss and balance disorder, for approximately $15.9 million.
Intrexon said its acquisition of GenVec will help add gene delivery platforms to complement its existing systems.
Billionaire Randal Kirk, chief executive officer and largest shareholder of Intrexon, says his genetically modified mosquitoes can fight the Zika virus better than the United Nations, according to Bloomberg.
Shares of Germantown, Maryland-based Intrexon surged 73 percent last year in the two months following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s link between the mosquito-borne Zika virus and birth defects in Brazil, the host of last year’s Olympic Games.
Analysts from Wunderlich to Stifel Nicolaus & Co. tied Intrexon’s rise to possibly hundreds of millions of dollars in additional annual sales of its mosquitoes in more than two dozen countries with significant Zika outbreaks.
With respect to Tuesday’s announcement, Intrexon Chief Science OfficerThomas D. Reed said that GenVec “dramatically expands the types of in vivo therapeutic programs we can pursue.”
In vivo, meaning interior, gene therapy changes genes in cells inside the body. Ex vivo, meaning exterior, gene therapy modifies cells outside the body and then transplants them back in.
The company to be acquired, GenVec, pioneered the gene delivery technology AdenoVerse. Over 3,000 clinical trial subjects have received the company’s therapeutics and vaccines across the globe.
Douglas Swirsky, GenVec’s chief executive officer, said the acquisition is the best alternative to maximize value for GenVec’s shareholders and, “We expect that the strong scientific synergies, coupled with Intrexon’s extensive resources, will help unlock the true potential of the AdenoVerse platform.”
GenVec stockholders will receive 0.297 of a share of Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Intrexon common stock in exchange for each share of GenVec common stock. This exchange ratio represents $7 per share of GenVec’s common stock based on Intrexon’s price as of Jan. 23.
GenVec shares closed at $6.57 Tuesday, up 44.71 percent. The company trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker GNVC.
Intrexon shares closed at $21.65, down 1.99 percent. The company trades on the NYSE under the ticker XON.
The joint press release can be found here.
This story is from the Maryland Business News Wire, a service of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism.