Oncimmune Holdings plc (LON:ONC), the leading global immunodiagnostics group, has announced that it has successfully agreed to acquire the intellectual property and distribution rights for the EarlyCDT® technology in the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong from Genostics Company Limited, allowing the Company to pursue the optimum route to market in this important territory.
Since granting Genostics the exclusive rights to EarlyCDT products in the PRC and HK in January 2018, Oncimmune and Genostics have collaborated to develop a lung panel with superior performance in Greater China and Asia-Pacific, given the prevalence of EGFR-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the region. The Asia-specific lung panel has been used in a multi-centre study, previously announced on 10 May 2019, and which is now due to complete in China in H1 2021. Data from this study are intended to be used to support approval by the China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) for the use of the Asia-specific lung cancer test in the PRC.
Under the agreement announced today, all material, IP, data, and goodwill will be transferred back to the Company, and Oncimmune will be paid in full for the royalties due in January 2021 under the existing Technology Licencing Agreement. In consideration, Oncimmune has agreed to pay a fixed amount for the return of the IP and distribution rights, with the majority of the value of the consideration being conditional on fixed future events.
With accelerating growth of Oncimmune’s ImmunoINSIGHTS business, the Company intends to explore options available to it to access the US capital markets in the near term. The termination of Oncimmune’s partnership with Genostics and return of the EarlyCDT product rights to the PRC and HK markets provides Oncimmune with further strategic optionality which could support a path to the US capital markets.
As part of the agreement, and as previously announced, Genostics has agreed to a lock-in of its remaining shareholding in Oncimmune (currently 4.73 per cent. of the issued share capital) for a period of 12 months from 6 May 2021, except under certain limited exceptions.
Dr Adam M Hill, CEO of Oncimmune said: “We are grateful for the collaboration with Genostics and its parent company, Gene Group Holdings Ltd, over the past three years and are pleased with the progress that has been made with our Asia-specific lung panel. However, as both companies consider their future on different equity capital markets, the continuing success of the EarlyCDT product portfolio, both in and outside of PRC and HK, requires Oncimmune to own the IP and distribution rights. We are delighted that Genostics has agreed to continue to participate in Oncimmune’s success as a shareholder, and Oncimmune looks forward to progressing its market access plans imminently.”