Ark Therapeutics is splashing out 2.25 million euros to acquire Helsinki, Finland-headquartered Lymphatix Oy, in an all-share transaction designed to expand its VEGF-based programmes.

The move allows Ark to get its hands on the Finnish group’s vascular endothelial growth factor genes VEGF-D and VEGF-C for developing gene-based medicines in angiogenesis (the formation of blood vessels) and lymphangiogenesis, without having to pay any royalties on products that make it to market.

The company already has various VEGF-based programmes in preclinical development in therapy areas such as refractory angina, wound healing, prevention of restenosis and foetal growth restriction.

Explaining the strategy behind the move, Dr Nigel Parker, Chief Executive Officer of Ark, said: “As well as securing our position in this key field, the rights to exploit these genes will give us the ability to optimise the constructs we take forward for the next generation of gene-based medicines”.

Furthermore, with regard to its refractory angina programme, “it could well be a catalyst to move us into the first clinical study faster than we had previously anticipated”, he added.