[Invivoscribe]

Precision diagnostics developer Invivoscribe said it will expand into drug development, with plans to develop and commercialize molecules it has licensed from Domainex as oral immunotherapy agents to treat acute myeloid leukemia and other blood cancers.

Invivoscribe said the development effort will be overseen by its new, fully-integrated drug development division. The division will aim to accelerate drug development by combining with the company’s in-house expertise in diagnostics development and worldwide access to patients and clinical testing capabilities.

Invivoscribe did not disclose the value of its licensing agreement with Domainex, but did say the deal included Domainex paying it an upfront payment and payments tied to achieving various phases of drug development, regulatory submission, and commercialization—as well as royalties on the resulting commercial products.

“The launch of Invivoscribe Therapeutics was an obvious next step for Invivoscribe,” the company’s Chief Scientific Officer and CEO, Jeffrey Miller, said in a statement. “We have assembled an extraordinary team of drug development experts with decades of experience leading discovery, preclinical development, and directing pharmaceutical sciences. They are well versed in taking small molecules through all phases of candidate selection into human trials.

“They’ve joined our diagnostics, bioinformatics, and regulatory teams that have years of experience using our tests to assist pharma companies in getting their drugs approved worldwide, and our international network of LabPMM clinical laboratories with ready access to oncology patients,” Miller added.

Based in San Diego and Saffron Walden, U.K., Invivoscribe has developed and sold standardized reagents, tests, and bioinformatics tools to more than 700 customers in 160 countries over its more than 25 years in business. Invivoscribe’s services also include supporting international clinical trials, developing, commercializing companion diagnostics, and providing expertise in both regulatory and laboratory services.

Added Domainex CEO Tom Mander, DPhil, MBA: “This deal is in keeping with our strategy to grow rapidly our drug discovery service business to enrich the pipelines of our partners.”

Headquartered in Essex, U.K., Domainex is a drug discovery contract research organization (CRO) that established its drug discovery service business in 2001. Since then, the company has expanded to serve a broader range of international clients, including Belgian-based drug developer UCB, The Institute of Cancer Research in London, and Watertown, MA-based Forma Therapeutics—which last month raised $319.3 million in gross proceeds through an initial public offering.

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