insitro closes deal with Haystack

insitro has acquired US-based private biotechnology company Haystack Sciences for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction will help support the buyer’s plans to build in-house capabilities for fully integrated drug discovery and development.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Haystack focuses on synthesising, breeding and analysing large, diverse combinatorial chemicals that are encoded by DNA sequences called DNA-encoded libraries, or DEL’s.

The group’s selection technology captures data from correlating chemical structures and helps discover new medicines for difficult-to-treat disorders.

Haystack’s platform can synthesise broad, diverse and small molecule collections, which will support insitro’s development of multi-dimensional products for small molecule design.

Furthermore, the company will gain access to the target’s proprietary screening technology, nDexer, which generates high resolution datasets through conventional panning approaches.

insitro plans to use Haystack’s offerings to collect small molecule datasets that can predict drug activity from molecular structures.

Daphne Koller, chief executive of the purchaser, said: “This acquisition enables us to expand our capabilities to the area of therapeutic design and advances us towards our goal of leveraging machine learning across the entire process of designing and developing better medicines for patients.”

The target’s co-founder, Richard Watts, noted: “The nDexer capabilities we have advanced at Haystack, combined with insitro’s state of the art machine learning models, will enable us to build a platform at the forefront of applying DEL technology to next-generation therapeutics discovery.”

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According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, there have been 4,578 deals targeting companies which provide research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences industries announced globally since the beginning of 2020.

Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to buy US-based MyoKardia for USD 13.10 billion in the most valuable of these.

In the second-largest transaction, Illumina, via SDG Ops, announced plans to acquire the remaining stake it does not already own in Grail for USD 8.00 billion.

Other companies targeted in this sector so far this year include Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Forty Seven and Principia Biopharma.

© Zephus Ltd


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