DNAPrint Genomics Acquires Kenna Technologies
News Nov 02, 2005
DNAPrint™ genomics, Inc., has acquired Kenna Technologies, Inc., of West Chester, Pa., a private company which builds computer models that mimic complex biological systems.
Under terms of the agreement, Kenna's shareholders exchanged all of the company's outstanding shares for 1.5 million shares of DNAPrint genomics Common Stock. The transaction was effective on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005.
"The acquisition of Kenna and its computational biology process provides substantial synergies with our pharmacogenomics applications," stated Hector J. Gomez, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Medical Officer of DNAPrint genomics.
"We believe Kenna's technologies will lead to shorter and less expensive drug development times, and represent a powerful tool in our company's search to develop programs for personalized medicine, and test/drug combinations targeting a specific group of patients."
Computational biology models (also called In silico technology,) incorporate the vast datasets and fragmented knowledge of experimentalists and can be a crucial requirement when developing effective therapies and diagnostic products.
"Initially, the Kenna team will support the clinical development of DNAPrint's PT-401 Super EPO erythropoietin dimer for the treatment of anemia and renal failure," stated Kenna co-founder Barbara Handelin, Ph.D, who joins DNAPrint as Director of Diagnostics and General Manager of Computational Biology. "We will provide simulations to help design optimal clinical trials with respect to dosing, patient selection factors and trial duration."
As a result of the acquisition, DNAPrint also gains access to Kenna's BoneFusion™ and CellCycleFusion™ models. BoneFusion simulates the processes in bone remodeling that underlie diseases like osteoporosis, while CellCycleFusion simulates the molecular pathways that control basic cellular functions. These pathways are common targets of current cancer therapies.
"Simply put, DNAPrint will utilize computational modeling to develop drugs more efficiently," said DNAPrint President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Gabriel. "It will play a valuable role in our Company's efforts to pursue the development of drugs which maximize efficacy and minimize side effects by tailoring medications for specific individuals and well-defined population sectors."
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.