Nearly two years of pain for Factor Therapeutics (ASX:FTT) shareholders could be over soon with the company signing a term sheet to negotiate a potential acquisition.

In 2018, Factor was trying to commercialise a wound-dressing drug, which failed a clinical trial leading to a near wipe out of the company’s value.

Ever since, the company has been on the hunt for new assets in the biotech sector without success. In April, one curious idea from a substantial shareholder proposed hedge funds as its new field.

Today Factor revealed it had signed a deal with US-based Longmile Veterinary Pet Imaging, which operates technologies for animal and equine veterinary imaging.

For the next four months the companies will undertake due diligence in the hopes of locking in a deal.

Factor will pay Longmile $US25,000 ($35,014) for the exclusivity period.

The company needs to obtain shareholder and regulatory approvals and have at least $3m in the bank to fund near-term activities.


Meeting a growing, unmet need

Factor boss Cherrell Hirst said veterinary imaging was the industry to enter and Longmile was the right player to partner with.

“Such technologies have become a standard part of oncology, infection and rheumatology care in human medicine and there is a growing unmet need to deliver similar capabilities in veterinary medicine against the backdrop of rapid growth in the global animal insurance market,” she said.

“Uniquely the Longmile team have demonstrated a solid scientific foundation and commercial application of the use of imaging diagnosis and treatment management in both large and small animals, with a stellar reputation for innovation and novel product development.

“We look forward to completing final diligence and commercial terms in order to bring this opportunity in full to shareholders in the coming months.”

Factor Therapeutics (ASX:FTT) share price graph


Who’s already in the game?

If the acquisition goes to plan, Factor would be unique its focus on animal diagnostic imaging.

While a number of ASX stocks focus on animal health and others diagnostic imaging, none exclusively focus on the two.

Human-focused diagnostic imaging stocks include large cap Pro Medicus (ASX:PME) which has risen 5,000 per cent in seven years.

Small cap EMvision (ASX:EMV) is also focused on human diagnostic imaging, and it is up over 300 per cent in the last 12 months off the back of encouraging clinical trial results.

There are several small caps in the animal health space generally including vet services provider Apiam Animal Health (ASX:AHX), biotechs Antara Lifesciences (ASX:ANR) and PharmAust (ASX:PAA), and cannabis play CannPal Animal Therapeutics (ASX:CP1).