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Essex Bio-Technology announces investment in MeiraGTx, a biotech company developing novel gene therapy treatments
2018.02.26 Download
Hong Kong, 23 February 2018
 
ESSEX BIO-TECHNOLOGY LIMITED (“Essex” or the “Group”-Stock code: 1061) is pleased to announce that Essex Bio-Investment, a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of the Essex Bio-Technology Limited, entered into a subscription agreement with MeiraGTx Limited (“MeiraGTx”) to subscribe for Convertible Preferred C Shares (“Preferred C Shares”) of MeiraGTx, for a total consideration of US$5,000,000 (equivalent to approximately HK$39,000,000 ). The number of Preferred C Shares to be subscribed by Essex Bio-Investment will represent approximately 8.3% of the existing issued Preferred C Shares of MeiraGTx and will represent approximately 7.7% of the issued Preferred C Shares as enlarged by the subscription.
 
MeiraGTx, a company incorporated and registered in England and Wales, is a clinical-stage biotech company developing novel gene therapy treatments for a wide range of inherited and acquired disorders for which there are no effective treatments available. MeiraGTx focuses on developing therapies for ocular diseases, including rare inherited blindness as well as Xerostomia following radiation treatment for head and neck cancers and neurodegenerative diseases such as amyothrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
 
Following the first two CAR-T therapies gotten approval from FDA in 2017, the global biotech industry has responded positively to the field of gene therapy. The innovations in gene therapy indeed bring hopes to some incurable disease. Responding to the potential benefits from gene therapy, in late 2017, China Food and Drug Administration (“CFDA”) initiated a series of regulations to encourage innovations, research and development of gene therapy in China.
 
The investment in MeiraGTx is an important and timely move for Essex to get involved in gene therapy. The Group plans to establish a business relationship with MeiraGTx, with a view of creating synergy effect in potential strategic cooperation in the future.
 
As a market leader in prescription drugs for the ophthalmic market in China, Essex has built up an extensive product portfolio to strengthen its market position, comprising of bio-pharmaceutical and chemical drugs (Beifushu Series, lodized Lecithin Capsules, Xalatan & Xalacom, etc.), ocular health care product (Beifu®shuhui Capsules) and medical device (Elektron, registering). Since 2015, the Group has initiated and implemented an “Enrichment Programme” for enhancing its R&D capability and enlarging its products portfolio, with an objective of driving mid- and long-term growth of the Group. The investment in MeiraGTx, which is yet another project in the “Enrichment Programme”, is expected to enable the Group to develop and deliver first-in-class gene therapy products, in particular for the treatment of ocular disease.
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