Focus-X Therapeutics (referred to here as “Focus-X”), a nuclide drug company that was invested in and incubated by Viva Biotech, successfully reached an acquisition agreement with Full-Life Technologies Co., Ltd. Under the terms of the acquisition, Full-Life will acquire Focus-X for US$245 million, including an upfront payment, potential development, regulatory, and sales-based milestone fees, and royalties on commercial sales. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023. When finished, this will be another pre-clinical acquisition of one of Viva’s portfolio companies, after Dogma and Totient, which once again verifies the capabilities of project discovery and the professional post-investment support of Viva’s investment team.
Focus-X develops targeted radiopharmaceuticals to treat cancer based on its proprietary peptide engineering technology. They completed their angel round in the third quarter of 2020, which was led by Viva. In addition to financial support, Viva also provided Focus-X with comprehensive incubation services to help it realize the transformation from “concept to product.”
Dr. Zhixiong Ye, CSO of Viva, stated, “Since investing in and incubating Focus-X in July 2020, Viva has worked closely with Focus-X on the screening and synthesis of peptides, which is an enriching experience for our team. Highly selective peptides can tackle the pain point of peptide-conjugated nuclide drugs – the toxicity caused by ‘healthy tissue distribution’. Viva provides efficient and high-quality screening and synthesis services for Focus-X with the help of its peptide research and development platform. It also assists Focus-X in obtaining multiple high-quality clinical drug candidates.”
Dr. Han Dai, CIO and head of Viva BioInnovator, said, “Relying on the founding team’s years of extensive research and accumulation, Focus-X has successfully developed an innovative peptide-drug conjugate (PDC) platform for the coupling of radionuclides in just two years. This development has advanced multiple nuclide-PDC pipelines into PCC and IIT stages, forming synergy with Full-Life Technology’s international layout in R&D, clinical, and supply chain of radiopharmaceutical drugs.”
Fa Liu, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Focus X, commented, “I am very grateful for the trust and support of Viva and other investment institutions. Within two years, we have achieved breakthroughs and transformations from zero to multiple clinical candidate molecules, some of which have shown very positive early human data. We have accelerated all the processes from verifying scientific hypotheses, transformation, and optimization, to determining clinical candidate molecules through Viva’s peptide and synthetic chemistry capabilities. Full-Life’s integrated platforms will provide the manufacturing technology, logistics, and clinical development expertise to accelerate the development of our compounds as well as expand our discovery efforts.”
“The Focus-X acquisition perfectly leverages Full-Life’s radiotechnology and development platform.This deal will bring two development ready compounds, including a lead with initial human data, a robust pipeline and world class peptide discovery capabilities to Full-Life,” said Lanny Sun, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Full-Life.
About Viva Biotech Holdings
Established in 2008, Viva Biotech (01873.HK) provides one-stop services ranging from early-stage Structure-Based Drug R&D to commercial drug delivery to global biopharmaceutical innovators. We offer leading early-stage to late-phase drug discovery expertise by integrating our dedicated team of experts, cutting-edge technology platforms, and state-of-the-art equipment in X-ray crystallization, Cryo-EM, ASMS, SPR, HDX, CADD, etc.. Our business covers all aspects of therapeutic strategies and drug modalities including small molecules and biologics across the pharma and biotech spectrum. Through our subsidiary Langhua Pharma, we offer our worldwide pharmaceutical and biotech partners One-Stop integrated CMC (Chemical, Manufacturing, and Control) service from preclinical to commercial manufacturing. In addition, Viva has embedded an equity for service (EFS) model to high potential startups to address unmet medical needs.
Founded in 2020, Focus-X has developed a proprietary engineering platform to develop peptide radioligands that precisely deliver alpha or beta emitters to breakdown cancer cell DNA. The platform optimizes peptide radioligand vectors for key pharmaceutical attributes such as biodistribution, binding affinity, and in vivo stability. Such optimization can present significant challenges to other ligand targeting compounds such as antibodies. The company focuses on both validated targets and new mechanisms.
About Full-Life Technologies
Full-Life Technologies Limited (“Full-Life”) is a fully integrated global radiopharmaceutical company with operations in Europe and China. We seek to own the entire value chain for radiopharmaceutical research & development, production & commercialization in order to deliver clinical impact for patients. The company plans to attack core issues affecting radiopharmaceuticals today through innovative research that targets the treatments of tomorrow. We are comprised of a team of fast-moving entrepreneurs and scientists with a demonstrated track record in the life sciences, as well as radioisotope research and clinical development.