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Tiziana Life Sciences preps spin out of genomics business


Tiziana Life Sciences (AIM: TILS / NASDAQ: TLSA) is planning to consult shareholders on the demerging and separate listing of its genomics-based personal medicine business. The NASDAQ-listed clinical stage biotechnology enterprise says it will list StemPrintER as a separate entity, but will need shareholder approval to do so.

StemPrintER has been trialled in Milan at the European Institute of Oncology and at the Royal Marsden and Queen Mary University hospitals in London. The technology aims to predict the likelihood of recurrence in breast cancer. The results of the trials and the progress being made in the research has convinced Tiziana Life Sciences to push for a separate listing for StemPrintER.

Tiziana said that the move would help to secure separate financial resources for the project and help to accelerate the development of the genomic test. The new entity would be focused more specifically on the personalised medicine market, allowing the parent company to continue to concentrate on its core biotechnology and pharmaceutical work.

Tiziana’s board said last week they could consult shareholders at the company’s next AGM, as the de-merger would involve a capital reduction. There is no guarantee that such approval will be forthcoming. Existing shareholders in Tiziana Life Sciences would benefit from stock in the new StemPrintER venture. The firm did confirm that StemPrintER, or whatever it ends up being called, would remain part of the same group.

Volumes in Tiziana Life Sciences shares have picked up dramatically since the middle of March and we have seen high volatility in the share price. Shares were trading at around GBR 30-40 as late as 3 April, before setting off on a march which has taken them to today’s price of GBR 107.

Tiziana remains a diversified biotech play: it has a number of treatments on the go, many of which are much further down the line than StemPrintER. It focuses much of its work around its lead compound, milciclib, a molecule which blocks the action of CDK (cyclin-dependent kinases) enzymes. These are involved in cell division among other activities.

It is also working on the development of foralumab, the only full human anti-human CD3 antibody in clinical development in the world. It has potential application in a wide range of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, such as MS and type 1 diabetes, among many others.

It reported a loss in its last statement (to 30 June 2019) of £3.63 million, although this was down on the previous period in 2018.

The AGM is scheduled for 31 May.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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