M&A: STEMCELL acquires SQZ Biotechnologies and Propagenix Inc

In the biotech M&A business, the Canadian company STEMCELL Technologies recently acquired SQZ Biotechnologies and Propagenix Inc.

STEMCELL Technologies, Canada’s biotechnology company, announced the recent acquisition of substantially all assets of SQZ Biotechnologies (SQZ) and the Propagenix Inc, both biotech companies. SQZ Biotechnologies is known for introducing a variety of therapeutic cargo into cells by squeezing them (mechanoporation) rather than using electricity (electroporation). Instead Propagenix Inc. is focused on developing technologies to enable new approaches in regenerative medicine.

Eaves (STEMCELL): having the potential in the delivery of cell therapies

With the approval of the SQZ transaction, STEMCELL has acquired substantially all of SQZ’s assets including its entire portfolio of over 400 patents and trademarks, other intellectual property such as copyrights and trade secrets, proprietary equipment, and its head license with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This exciting acquisition means that STEMCELL’s own instruments will have the potential to be used in the delivery of cell therapies to cure diseases, like cancer,” says Allen Eaves, President and CEO, STEMCELL. “This transaction is an important achievement for STEMCELL and a win for Canada’s economy and life sciences sector as it will support the development of innovative cell therapies.”

Since our inception, SQZ’s vision has been to transform patient outcomes by helping to make life-changing cell therapies widely and rapidly accessible, and we are confident that STEMCELL can drive this important ambition toward a global reality,” affirms Howard Bernstein, Interim CEO, SQZ Biotechnologies.

In 2020, STEMCELL exclusively licensed the rights to SQZ’s patent portfolio to develop and commercialize the CellPore™ Transfection System and associated CellPore™ Transfection Kits in the research use market. With this new agreement, STEMCELL will be able to exclusively commercialize these products for use in all markets, including clinical applications.

Over our 30-year history, STEMCELL has proudly developed the products required for scientific research around the world, and now with SQZ’s technology and proprietary expertise, we are poised to increase our offering even further into the clinical space and ultimately help patients everywhere,” says Eaves.

STEMCELL in developing products based on Propagenix technology

About the acquisition of Propagenix Eaves continues:“Propagenix’s technology has the potential to contribute to big advancements in scientific research in both labs and clinical settings for the treatment of cancer, airway diseases, and other disorders, and we are thrilled to welcome its portfolio into STEMCELL’s product suite.”

Founded in 2014, Propagenix has developed and commercialized unique technologies, including its patented EpiX™ technology. In 2017, STEMCELL licensed the rights to EpiX™ for research use applications. This technology has the potential to address clinical needs in replacing a patient’s own damaged barrier tissues, like skin and intestinal tissue, with engineered tissue solutions. The current acquisition now enables STEMCELL to develop products based on EpiX™ technology for clinical applications.

We are delighted that the amazing team of scientists at STEMCELL will ensure Propagenix technologies and capabilities for epithelial cell biology are deployed to their fullest to serve the life science research community,” says Brian Pollok on behalf of Propagenix co-founders.

STEMCELL’s acquisition includes all of Propagenix’s assets and intellectual property portfolio, its existing business arrangements, as well as its exclusive license to Conditional Reprogramming technology with Georgetown University. Conditional Reprogramming allows scientists to grow tumors and healthy tissue in laboratory settings for research and has potential applications for regenerative medicine and drug screening for personalized medicine.