Transgenomic (TBIO), Precipio Diagnostics Enter Merger Agreement

October 13, 2016 5:50 AM EDT

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Transgenomic, Inc. (Nasdaq: TBIO), and privately-held Precipio Diagnostics, LLC, announced entry into a merger agreement, pursuant to which Precipio will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Transgenomic, and Transgenomic will be renamed Precipio, Inc. In connection with the merger, it is anticipated that the original Precipio security holders will receive between 62% and 80% of the outstanding shares of the combined company, depending on the relative amount of outstanding liabilities of the parties at closing and prior to the investment of new capital. The merger is expected to close in 2016, pending approval by Transgenomic shareholders and other closing conditions set forth in the merger agreement. Simultaneous to the merger, the combined company will receive an investment of up to $7 million from a syndicate led by BV Advisory Partners in a private placement of preferred convertible securities, and $3.0 million of outstanding debt of each company is expected to convert into this same class of preferred convertible securities. This comprehensive transaction will provide the Company with a clean balance sheet and sufficient capital to achieve its planned expansion.

Transgenomic has filed to complete a reverse stock split of between one-for-ten and one-for-thirty before the merger closes, and the company’s outstanding debt is expected to convert into common and preferred shares. The companies expect that shares of the combined company will be listed on the NASDAQ exchange and trade under the “PRPO” ticker (subject to filing and approval by NASDAQ). The merger agreement provides that, Ilan Danieli, Precipio founder and Chief Executive Officer, will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the combined company. BV Advisory Partners is acting as advisor to the transaction.

Paul Kinnon, Transgenomic President and Chief Executive Officer, said “In recent years we have transitioned from a provider of conventional life science tools and diagnostic services into an innovative biotechnology enterprise focused on advancing precision medicine. We have done this through our revolutionary ICE COLD-PCR (ICP) technology, which enables accurate, non-invasive tumor profiling using circulating DNA in patient plasma. We have established a solid platform for commercialization of ICP, with leading global distributors and a solid pipeline of potential agreements with partners and customers. This is a good time to join forces with Precipio, which shares our commitment to accurate and timely advanced cancer diagnostics and has established an impressive infrastructure of academic experts and a growing customer base, validated by successful case studies. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to ensure a successful transition.”

Ilan Danieli, Precipio founder and Chief Executive Officer, said “We are proud of Precipio’s progress in building a growing platform that provides unique services to cancer patients and their physicians by providing a demonstrated superior level of diagnostic accuracy, ensuring that patients receive the best possible treatment. Cancer misdiagnosis is an all too common and underappreciated problem, which frequently has a negative impact on patient treatment, and may cause needless loss of life. We provide both primary and second opinion screening, and our network of leading academic cancer researchers and advanced diagnostic technologies have proven to be an invaluable resource for patients and physicians. Our entire team is committed to ensuring that our services are made widely available. To that end we will continue building out our sales team to accelerate adoption and revenue growth. We believe Transgenomic’s ICP technology and commercial infrastructure fit well with our values and our business model, and look forward to this next stage of growth, as we work together to integrate our teams, technologies and services.”

Keith Barksdale, Founder of BV Advisory Partners, commented, “Transgenomic and Precipio have complementary strengths with the potential to be a dynamic and strong competitor in the rapidly growing market for advanced cancer diagnostics. ICP is a revolutionary mutation detection technology that is now available through global distributors, and adoption by drug researchers and developers is ramping up. The technology is also available to help guide cancer diagnosis and treatment through Transgenomic’s CLIA laboratory. Precipio’s platform of leading academic cancer experts provides superior diagnostic accuracy level to oncologists and their patients; it represents a unique resource that can benefit from and leverage the power of ICE COLD-PCR. We look forward to working with the combined company going forward to help assure its growth and success.”

Transgenomic’s ICE COLD-PCR offers major advantages over current sequencing technologies. It delivers at least a 100-fold improvement in sensitivity compared to standard methodologies, allowing detection of both known and previously unknown genetic alterations in any exon of any gene using a single assay. It is robust, easy to use and easily implemented, requiring minimal disruption to established sequencing workflows. It is available as ICEme™ Kits that deliver up to a 500-fold increase in mutation detection compared to most current methods, with levels of detection routinely achievable down to 0.01%. This ultra-high sensitivity enables detection of low level mutations and allows accurate patient monitoring as well as stratification of cancer sub-populations. ICEme Kits are compatible with most patient samples, including tissue, blood, plasma, urine and other biofluids. The kits are simple to use and work with most of the genomic analysis platforms available in laboratories today. They are easily customizable for use with single mutations or multiple mutations in combination. The current menu includes approximately 20 clinically relevant, actionable mutations that are associated with important cancers. The ICP range of mutation targets is being expanded on an ongoing basis.

ICE COLD-PCR was originally developed by the laboratory of Dr. Mike Makrigiorgos at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which has exclusively licensed rights to the technology exclusively to Transgenomic.

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