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Emergent BioSolutions Acquires Microscience, An Innovative, UK-Based Vaccine Company


10/19/2005 5:09:21 PM

GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Emergent BioSolutions today announced that it has acquired UK-based Microscience, Ltd., a privately-held vaccine company primarily involved in the research and development of innovative, proprietary vaccines and immunotherapeutics. Emergent acquired Microscience through a share exchange agreement. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The acquisition will significantly bolster Emergent's commercial product development pipeline, add unique and proprietary vaccine technology and delivery platforms, and further expand the company's global operations into the important European market. Emergent will also benefit from Microscience's strong intellectual property portfolio comprised of 18 patent families covering over 350 genes, with 101 initial applications.

"This is an exciting, transformational event for both Emergent and Microscience," said Fuad El-Hibri, Emergent's Chief Executive Officer. "With five vaccines in clinical development, valuable vaccine technology and delivery platforms, and a highly talented scientific and development team, Microscience fits squarely into Emergent's strategic plan and significantly broadens our reach in the growing global vaccine market."

As part of the transaction, Emergent is acquiring a broad product portfolio of five clinical stage vaccines that target infectious diseases. These include oral vaccines to protect against Typhoid (Phase II), traveler's diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic E.coli (completed Phase I), and a therapeutic vaccine to treat chronic carriers of Hepatitis B (completed Phase I). Early stage clinical trials for an injectable Meningitis B vaccine and a neonatal Group B Streptococcus vaccine are ongoing. A further oral vaccine program for anthrax is currently completing pre-clinical development. Microscience also brings to Emergent proprietary platform technologies that include Signature Tagged Mutagenesis(TM), a genomic technology that rapidly and accurately identifies genes in microbes responsible for causing disease, and spi-VEC(TM), an oral delivery system capable of delivering bacterial, viral and cancer antigens.

Added El-Hibri, "Beyond its promising vaccine technology and portfolio of products, Microscience brings significant collaborations with respected international research organizations and a number of important commercial relationships and out-licensing agreements and opportunities with large pharmaceutical companies. We are extremely pleased to welcome Microscience into the Emergent family."

Microscience is being re-named Emergent Europe and Dr. Steven Chatfield, Emergent's Senior Vice President of Research & Development, has been appointed its Chief Executive Officer. Emergent Europe intends to operate from Microscience's 26,000 sq./ft. development and discovery facility near London, England. Investors in Microscience include Advent Venture Partners, Apax Partners, JP Morgan Partners and Merlin Biosciences.

Emergent is focusing its efforts on developing biodefense vaccines and therapeutics, as well as products in the area of infectious diseases. The Company has a substantial product portfolio with a number of programs in development. Emergent's portfolio of biodefense products to protect against biological attacks include: BioThrax(R), an FDA approved anthrax vaccine, which is being sold to the United States government, among other customers, anthrax immune globulin for treatment of inhalational anthrax, next generation anthrax vaccines, and recombinant botulinum and botulinum toxoid vaccines. Emergent's portfolio of commercial products include: TracVax(TM), a vaccine designed to prevent infections by Chlamydia trachomatis, the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the world; HeliVax(TM), a vaccine designed to prevent infections by Helicobacter pylori, a leading bacterial cause of ulcers, gastric cancers and cardiac disease; and a Non-typable H. influenzae (NTHi) vaccine for prevention of otitis media

About Emergent BioSolutions Inc.

Emergent BioSolutions Inc., formed in 2004, is dedicated to the research, development and manufacture of novel products which harness the immune system to treat and prevent disease. These include vaccines and related products for prophylactic and therapeutic use against common infectious diseases and biological weapons of mass destruction. The company currently employs over 450 people with facilities in Gaithersburg and Frederick, Maryland, Lansing, Michigan and Berkshire, U.K. More information about Emergent BioSolutions and its subsidiaries can be found at http://www.ebsi.com

Emergent BioSolutions Inc.

CONTACT: Kim Brennen Root, Director, Public Relations of EmergentBioSolutions Inc., +1-517-327-1543


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