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Synthetic Biology Company Raises $200 Million in IPO

New York Stock Exchange

(A. Kotok)

21 August 2015. Intrexon Corp., a company developing genomic solutions with synthetic biology, raised some $200 million in its initial public stock offering. The Germantown, Maryland enterprise issued 4,878,049 shares of common stock priced at $41.00, and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol XON. The company’s shares closed today at $45.46, up nearly 3 percent for the day, despite the S&P 500 average dropping 3.2 percent.

Intrexon offers a range of synthetic biology and genetic engineering services for health, food, energy, environment, and consumer goods markets. The company operates several technologies derived from computational models and software that assemble DNA-based solutions on a commercial scale. Its RheoSwitch Therapeutic System induces expression of one or more genes with a library of ligand activators; ligands are binding and signaling molecules. Intrexon’s Laser-Enabled Analysis and Processing or LEAP provides automated, high-throughput cell imaging with laser-based cell processing.

The company says its Cell Systems Informatics platform permits faster design, testing, and learning of new genetic elements, targets, or pathways. Intrexon maintains a database of genome-scale models, bioinformatics, and computational biology tools that it applies to development of cell metabolism and signaling networks. Models of microbial to mammalian systems are used for drug discovery, development, and validation.

In 2015, Intrexon made two major acquisitions, as reported by Science & Enterprise. In February, Intrexon purchased ActoGeniX, a developer of therapies from engineered microbes for $30 million in cash plus another $30 million in Intrexon stock. ActoGenix’s technology focuses on Lactococcus lactis bacteria, commonly used to produce yogurt and cheese, engineered to produce therapeutic peptides and proteins that it says are taken orally, produced efficiently, and released in the gastrointestinal tract.

Earlier in August, Intrexon acquired Oxitec Ltd, a spin-off enterprise from Oxford University that develops genetically engineered insect varieties. Under the merger, Oxitec shareholders receive $80 million in cash and another $80 million in Intrexon stock. Oxitec reported in July 2015 successful field and greenhouse tests of engineered mosquitoes to stop the spread of dengue fever, and modified diamondback moths whose caterpillars cause extensive agricultural damage among popular consumer vegetables including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and kale.

Earlier this week, Intrexon and Dominion Energy, agreed to collaborate on applying Intrexon’s bioconversion platform to transform natural gas into isobutanol, a drop-in fuel that can replace gasoline one-for-one without expensive engine conversions required for ethanol. Intrexon’s platform uses engineered microbes to convert natural gas into higher carbon compounds.

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