4D pharma plc (AIM: DDDD), a pharmaceutical company focusing on the development of live biotherapeutics, is pleased to announce that it has today acquired the entire issued share capital of Tucana Health Limited ("Tucana").

Recent advances have highlighted the importance of the microbiome, not only for the development of safe and efficacious novel therapeutics, such as those developed by 4D pharma currently undergoing patient trials, but also in predicting the effectiveness or response rates of current therapeutics in areas such as cancer.

Tucana, a start-up company from University College Cork ("UCC"), was founded by Prof Fergus Shanahan and Prof Paul O'Toole to investigate the use of microbiome signatures to aid the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, including those targeted by 4D pharma.

Following the acquisition, 4D pharma will continue to build on this research, investing in the platform and building further research capability based at the APC Microbiome Institute at UCC ("APC").

Initially, the focus will be on work on the diagnosis and patient stratification for Irritable Bowel Syndrome ("IBS"). Longer term the company will focus on building a diagnostic platform across multiple disease areas mirroring the programmes developed by MicroRx, 4D pharma's therapeutic platform. This work will be led by Prof Fergus Shanahan and Prof Paul O'Toole, the founders of Tucana.

Duncan Peyton, 4D pharma's Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"We continue to look at the developments within the microbiome and how best to apply these to enable 4D pharma to rapidly bring safe, efficacious therapies to patients.

Having worked with the founders of Tucana and the APC, it was clear that together we combine the expertise and research at Tucana with 4D pharma's MicroRx platform, research and therapeutic programmes to build what we believe will be a new direction in diagnostics.

We believe the diagnostic platform developed will become an important part of patient care, giving health professionals an understanding of how, or more importantly whether, a patient will respond to a therapeutic regime; but also expanding the information within 4D pharma to understand and potentially address new therapeutic areas."

The consideration will be satisfied by the issue of up to 1,410,603 4D pharma shares, with 410,603 shares to be issued upfront at a price of £7.55, being the average mid-market price of a 4D pharma share for the five business days immediately preceding completion of the acquisition. The remaining consideration shares will be issued subject to the achievement of milestones.

Application has been made for the new 4D pharma shares issued on completion of the acquisition to be admitted to trading on AIM ("Admission"), and it is expected that Admission will take place on 15 February 2016.

Following Admission, the Company's issued share capital will consist of 64,775,801 ordinary shares. There are no ordinary shares held in treasury. Therefore, in accordance with the FCA's Disclosure and Transparency Rule 5.6.1, the Company confirms that, following Admission, the total number of voting rights in the Company will be 64,775,801.

Exchange rate used: £1 : €1.29