Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc. ("Courtagen"), a privately held life sciences company that provides innovative proteomic and genomic products and services to the life sciences industry, announced today that it has acquired Medicinal Genomics Corporation, with operations in Marblehead, Mass. and Amsterdam, Netherlands ("Medicinal Genomics"). Medicinal Genomics made headlines around the world last August when it announced that it had sequenced the entire genome of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, assembling the largest known gene collection of this therapeutic plant. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The acquisition reunites noted genomics pioneers and innovators—the McKernan brothers. Brian McKernan is the Chief Executive Officer of Courtagen and Brendan McKernan is the company's President. Kevin McKernan, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Medicinal Genomics, will become Courtagen's Chief Scientific Officer. The three brothers previously comprised the senior management team and were co-founders of Agencourt Bioscience Corporation ("Agencourt") and Agencourt Personal Genomics, Inc. ("APG"). Agencourt was one of the most successful commercial DNA sequencing companies in the world prior to being sold to Beckman Coulter in 2005. Following this, the three brothers co-founded APG, a technology startup focused on developing SOLiD, a cutting edge next-generation sequencing technology, which was sold to Applied Biosystems in 2006.
"The accomplishments and progress that Kevin has achieved at Medicinal Genomics in such a short period of time are impressive and indicative of Kevin's drive to create value in the genomics space," said Brian McKernan. "We believe that Kevin's groundbreaking work at Medicinal Genomics is completely aligned with Courtagen's objective of turning sophisticated genomics into tools that will provide real clinical utility. It goes without saying that all three of us are very excited to be working together again."
Medicinal Genomics, as a wholly owned subsidiary of Courtagen, will apply next-generation sequencing technologies to better understand and elucidate the medical properties of Cannabis. Medicinal Genomics has the largest DNA sequence database of the Cannabis plant and is well positioned to design DNA fingerprinting assays and sequencing services for strain genotyping and medicinal strain development.