Fresh from its purchase of a 20% stake in joint venture partner Helomics, Skyline Medical (NSDQ:SKLN) said today that it inked a deal to license the MiSeqDx next-generation sequencing technology from Illumina (NSDQ:ILMN).
Yesterday Minneapolis-based Skyline said it agreed to buy a lump of convertible shares representing 20% of Helomics, in exchange for 1.1 million newly issued SKLN shares, which combined with its existing right to convert a $500,000 loan would give it a 25% stake in the Pittsburgh-based precision diagnostics and contract research firm. Yesterday’s $1.14 closing price for Skyline stock would value the 20% stake at nearly $1.3 million.
“Our strategic growth plan is to invest in, and partner with, leading edge players in emerging areas of the healthcare industry to secure additional income streams and grow the value of Skyline,” CEO Dr. Carl Schwartz said in prepared remarks. “Helomics’ ability to offer data collection, analysis and actionable insights to BioPharma companies as they develop new cancer treatments, positions it as a highly-valuable partner to the fast-growing precision medicine sector. We are pleased to expand our relationship with Helomics through this investment and look forward to helping Helomics’ management to further commercialize its offering.”
“Precise analysis of cancer tumors can deliver invaluable insights for cancer diagnostics and aid in the development of targeted cancer therapies. Our advanced D-Chip platform interprets correlations between the molecular and demographic profiles as well as the drug responses of the patient’s tumor. These actionable insights drive biomarker discovery and validation offering a unique opportunity for pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies to push the frontiers of medical knowledge and to advance innovation in healthcare. Our database contains profiles of approximately 149,000 cancer tumors, compiled from over a decade of clinical testing. We plan to use this investment to further leverage our high-value big data and bioinformatics solutions to enable healthcare and biopharma companies to develop revolutionary cancer treatment options,” added Helomics president & CEO Gerald Vardzel.
Today Skyline said the deal with Illumina will give it the ability to sequence the genes of tumor specimens to feed into the D-Chip database, which would then identify any correlations between the gene sequence, patient demographic data and the tumor’s response to drug treatment.
“Licensing the NGS platform is expected to drive commercial traction for both the D-Chip platform and the additional CRO services offered by the Skyline-Helomics joint venture. We fully expect the NGS platform to drive revenue from new partnerships early in 2018,” Schwartz said in a press release. “This further demonstrates our commitment to establishing the Company at the frontier of the personalized medicine sector and to building value for our shareholders.”
“The NGS platform will allow us to add targeted sequence data from tumor specimens for a range of key cancer genes to the D-Chip platform. Pharma companies which license our D-Chip platform will benefit from these actionable insights to drive biomarker discovery and validation, aiding them in the selection of patients for clinical trials as well as drug-repurposing activities,” Vardzel added.
SKLN shares were up 5.2% at $1.2098 apiece today in mid-morning trading.