MONTREAL, CANADA and ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA, March 29, 2001 – ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., and Arriva Pharmaceuticals, Inc., announced today that the use of protease inhibitors for the treatment of skin inflammatory conditions
claimed in the European patent (numbered EP 0 512 090) was upheld by the European Patent Office. This ruling followed an opposition filed by Bayer AG which intended to restrict the scope of the patent.
Arriva and ProMetic formed a joint venture in 1999 to develop and commercialize recombinant alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) and other serine protease inhibitors for the treatment of various inflammatory conditions, including dermatological diseases such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. The ruling also allowed broad coverage for the use of additional protease inhibitors,
such as the secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases.
“This ruling clearly validates our joint venture’s proprietary position for the use of serine protease inhibitors such as AAT for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases, and gives additional impetus to our clinical trial program in Europe”, said Pierre Laurin, ProMetic’s Chairman and CEO. Our dermatology clinical trial program is scheduled to begin in Q4 of this year”.
“Naturally, we are delighted with this decision” stated Philip J. Barr, Ph.D., Arriva’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Protease inhibitor therapy clearly offers great promise for these inflammatory diseases. We look forward to impacting their treatment with our portfolio of proprietary molecules.”
“This ruling further supports ProMetic’s decision to take an equity position in Arriva,” commented Mr. André Bédard, ProMetic’s Vice President, Finance. “In addition to the significant market opportunity our joint venture provides, ProMetic will also benefit from the use of AAT for the treatment of respiratory inflammatory diseases” added Mr. Bédard.
Arriva Pharmaceuticals is a private company with a focus on the treatment of inflammatory disease using either inhaled or topically-applied protease inhibitors. Its lead potential therapeutic is an alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) protein produced in genetically-engineered yeast cells. This manufacturing process utilises no animal-sourced materials. Arriva is developing a line of therapeutic protease inhibitors for the treatment of dermatological and respiratory diseases.
ProMetic owns proprietary enabling technology essential for use in large-scale drug purification, chemical genomics, proteomics, drug discovery and drug development. Headquartered in Montreal, ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. has operations in Canada, the United States and the UK. Its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PLI. Additional information is available on the Company’s website : prometic.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with clinical development, regulatory approvals, Company’s ability to manufacture and successfully commercialize value-added pharmaceutical products and to obtain contracts for its products and services. Shareholders are cautioned that these statements and predictions and these actual events or results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements.
Contacts : ProMetic Worldwide