Genuity Science acquired by oncology research outlet HiberCell

17 Aug 2021

Image: © kwanchaift/

The genomics analysis company and its Irish division will operate as a subsidiary of the New York-based oncology research firm.

Genuity Science has been acquired by oncology-focused biotech company HiberCell.

The all-stock deal will see Boston-based Genuity, alongside its Irish and Icelandic operations, operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of New York-based HiberCell. The acquisition will also provide HiberCell with around $100m in cash.

HiberCell said that its work in developing oncology treatments will be combined with Genuity’s computational genomics analysis capability.

Genuity’s Irish division, which was previously called Genomics Medicines Ireland (GMI), was independent until it was acquired in 2018 by US-headquartered WuXi NextCode. Dublin-founded GMI had received State investment via the Irish Strategic Investment Fund.

WuXi NextCode was restructured and rebranded to Genuity Science last year and the Irish business became Genuity Science Ireland.

HiberCell CEO and co-founder Alan Rigby commented: “Our therapeutic programmes have been identified through mechanistic insight into the role of the adaptive stress phenotype in cancer patients.

“Genuity’s artificial intelligence/machine learning [AI/ML] platform, which has successfully identified and validated novel molecular pathways in disease initiation and progression, is well positioned to further our understanding of the stress phenotype and its role in cancer progression.”

Hannes Smárason, CEO and co-founder of Genuity Science, added: “We believe pairing HiberCell’s success in advancing differentiated oncology medicines into the clinic with Genuity’s advanced technologies in genomic research and one-of-a-kind AI/ML platform will break new ground for what is possible in cancer drug discovery.”

Genuity’s DNA-gathering practices have been the subject of some controversy in Ireland and raised privacy concerns. In June, a spokesperson for the Data Protection Commission told the Irish Times that the watchdog’s examination of the company’s operations were “ongoing”, having begun in 2018.

Through a 15-year project to map the genome of a significant subset of the Irish population, Genuity has said it hopes to develop new drugs and treatments for a range of conditions. It has ongoing strategic partnerships with a number of bioscience and biopharma companies including Nashville Biosciences and AbbVie.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin