ProMetic’s Technology will be used to develop diagnostic and therapeutic for sepsis and septic shock
MONTREAL, CANADA, October 23, 2001 – ProMetic Life Sciences (TSE: PLI) today announced that it has closed a licensing agreement with PharmAAware SEPSIS B.V., a Netherlands-based venture company funded by ABN AMRO Capital and Theratase PLC (London: THE). PharmAAware will use ProMetic’s technology to develop both a diagnostic kit and a therapeutic protein for treatment of sepsis and septic shock.
Under the terms of the agreement, ProMetic will receive license milestone payments of $700,000 CDN, minimum annual royalty payments, in addition to 1% to 9% of PharmAAware’s revenues, based on the type of products (diagnostics and therapeutics) and/or revenues resulting from sales.
PharmAAware will utilize ProMetic’s technology to purify Alkaline Phosphatase (AP), an enzyme known to prevent inflammation and the sepsis cascade, which has shown significant potential as an effective therapy for septic shock. PharmAAware will initially focus on exploiting the endotoxin neutralizing properties of AP to develop a therapeutic for Sepsis, and a diagnostic device to improve on the monitoring of these patients.
Pierre Laurin, President and CEO of ProMetic, commented, “Sepsis is a major medical concern which accounts for $5 billion worth of healthcare costs in the US alone. ProMetic’s technology will help address this health problem by providing pure Alkaline Phosphatase, which has shown great promise as a therapeutic. We are very pleased with this agreement because it provides ProMetic with both a near-term revenue stream from our purification technology and significant upside potential from royalties on future product sales.”
“Alkaline Phosphatase shows significant promise as a therapeutic for Sepsis without the complexities and side effects seen in many existing treatments”, said Pierre Laurin, President and CEO of ProMetic. “ProMetic’s technology will enable the production of large enough quantities of pure AP, so that a therapeutic can be manufactured at industrial scales to meet the growing medical needs for a more effective treatment”, added Mr. Laurin.
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSE: PLI) is an international bio-pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Montreal. Through its subsidiaries in the UK and the Isle of Man (GB), in Canada and the US, ProMetic is engaged in research, development, manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications from its proprietary platform technologies, which are used in therapeutics, large-scale drug purification, chemical genomics and proteomics, drug delivery and drug development.
PharmAAware SEPSIS B.V. is a venture company funded by ABN AMRO Capital and Theratase PLC, (London: THE) to develop a therapeutic for sepsis and septic shock. Theratase PLC is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of enzymes and biochemicals to the diagnostic industry and ABN AMRO Capital is a prominent global banking group.
About ABN AMRO and ABN AMRO Capital
ABN AMRO is a leading global bank with over 100,000 employees and operations in more than 70 countries. As a fast growing international private equity business, ABN AMRO Capital is a wholly owned subsidiary of ABN AMRO Bank. ABN AMRO Capital’s strategy is based on a global approach, with more than 150 investment managers working in dedicated teams in 18 countries. The diversified portfolio includes more than 350 companies in a wide variety of sectors, adding up to more than EUR 2.5 billion of investment, a significant portion of which is in the space technology area.
Sepsis is a major challenge in medicine. Particularly in elderly, immuno-compromised and critically ill patients, sepsis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in intensive care units worldwide (Friedman, 1998, Balk, 2000). In the US, it is estimated that more than 700,000 cases of severe sepsis, hypoperfusion or shock occur per year (Linde-Zwirble, 1999), which when extrapolated to a global population represents several million cases of severe sepsis annually worldwide. Data also shows that Sepsis is the leading cause of death in non-coronary ICU patients (Sands 1997), and data collected by the Centers for Disease Control in 1998 shows that it was the 11th leading cause of death overall. The CDC warned that the incidence was increasing, citing the aging of the US population and the increased prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection as contributing factors. Also, the widespread use of broad-spectrum antibiotics has increased the rates of both antibiotic resistance and nosocomial infections of sepsis. A recent study published in Crit. Care. Med. (2001) Vol. 29, No.7, clearly demonstrates the ongoing increase of these conditions that are frequently fatal and expensive for the healthcare system.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to the Company’s ability to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialize value-added pharmaceutical products and to obtain contracts for its products and services and commercial acceptance of advanced affinity separation technology. Shareholders are cautioned that these statements are predictions and these actual events or results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements.
Contacts: ProMetic Worldwide