Telix spends up to $82M to boost isotope production with ARTMS buyout

With the radiopharmaceuticals space growing quickly, Telix Pharmaceuticals is adding to its presence in the arena with a buyout of ARTMS Inc.

The deal, worth up to $82 million in cash and stock, gives Telix access to an advanced cyclotron-based isotope production platform, a manufacturing plant and a stockpile of ultrapure rare metals, according to a company press release.

Based in Burnaby, British Columbia, ATRMS formed through its spinout from Canada’s national particle accelerator center. Now, ARTMS’ technology is used by “major manufacturing networks” to enable production of a range of medical radioisotopes, according to Australia's Telix.

As a commercial-stage biotech, Telix is working to develop and market therapeutic and diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals. The company has been working with ARTMS since 2020, according to a release.

The star of the deal is ARTMS' technology platform, which supports efficient and cost-effective manufacturing of commercially significant medical isotypes, according to Telix.

The company plans to use the platform to bolster production of a number of its commercial products, including Zircaix for kidney cancer imaging and the PET-scan imaging agent Illuccix, among other planned uses.

“It is our hope that by closely aligning this powerful technology with pharmaceutical development, we will transform the cost, market access and utility of diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals,” CEO Christian Behrenbruch, Ph.D., said in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to expand a fruitful collaboration into a deeper partnership.”

ARTMS’ production facility is located in Burnaby. Telix said it will expand the site and its capabilities.

Telix agreed to pay $42.5 million upfront in the form of 5.6 million Telix shares, plus $15 million in cash payable at closing. An additional $24.5 million is tied to certain clinical or commercial milestones.

The move puts Telix on somewhat of an M&A streak.

Last week, the Australian biotech shelled out $13.6 million for Texas-based CDMO IsoTherapeutics, expanding its U.S. footprint and bringing on a team of “highly recognized industry leaders in bioconjugation and radiochemistry,” Behrenbruch said in a statement.