BURNABY, BC and ATHENS, GA, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. ("Chromos"; TSX: CHR) and AviGenics Inc. announced today that they have signed a license agreement under which AviGenics has acquired exclusive rights to Chromos' ACE System to generate transgenic avians for the development of protein therapeutics and other applications in the avian transgenic field.
Under the terms of the agreement, AviGenics will combine the ACE System, Chromos' chromosome-based gene delivery and expression technology, with its transgenic platform to develop new protein therapeutics. Chromos will receive upfront and annual license fees, milestone payments, and collect royalties upon commercialization of ACE System-derived products as well as from revenues generated from services provided to third parties by AviGenics. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"Having a licensing partner with expertise in avian transgenics underscores the broad potential of our ACE technology," commented Chromos' President and CEO, Alistair Duncan. "With the recent advances made in our technology, Chromos is now able to extract value from transgenic platforms. This agreement represents our commitment to leverage our intellectual property portfolio and other assets through select alliances that will realize value for our shareholders, while allowing us to effectively focus our resources on cellular protein production. As interest in transgenics increases, we believe new opportunities for future agreements will emerge and further strengthen the ACE System's value to this sector of the industry."
AviGenics has established its Avian Transgenesis System to develop and manufacture novel protein-based therapeutics. AviGenics utilizes its efficient microinjection technology to deliver genes and proprietary promoters to create transgenic hens that produce therapeutic proteins in their eggs. "AviGenics' expertise in transgenesis combined with Chromos' ACE technology will allow us to introduce very large pieces of DNA containing many genes and create new opportunities in novel therapeutic development and manufacturing," said Yashwant Deo, President and CEO of AviGenics.
According to industry experts, the therapeutic protein market has a strong predicted growth rate of 15% annually for the next 5 years, and will exceed US $20 billion by 2010. Current platforms used in the development and manufacture of therapeutic proteins are not expected to meet future demand for production capacity. Novel technologies such as Chromos' ACE System and AviGenics' Avian Transgenesis System, will enable the future growth of these products.
AviGenics is a venture backed, development stage biotechnology company focused upon protein-based therapies that address unmet therapeutic needs in oncology, infectious disease and autoimmune disease conditions. AviGenics has produced bioactive therapeutic proteins in transgenic avian eggs using its proprietary technology. These transgenic therapeutic proteins have unique and desirable characteristics. The combination of unique properties and drastically reduced manufacturing costs of such transgenic therapeutic proteins leads AviGenics to distinct business opportunities in novel therapeutic protein development and manufacturing.
Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. is a public, Canadian biotechnology company leading the development of innovative therapies using a proprietary gene delivery and expression system for the production of therapeutic proteins and cell-based gene therapies. Chromos is achieving this objective with a unique mammalian chromosome technology platform from which multiple product candidates can be developed. Chromos' technology, referred to as the ACE System, is a unique and powerful vehicle for carrying genes into cells for subsequent expression of proteins. It offers competitive advantages over current systems in that it permits the rapid and efficient insertion of selected genes, allows for the long term and stable expression of large, single or multiple proteins, and provides a means to selectively and predictably control protein expression.
Note: Certain of the statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Director Investor Relations & Communications
Chromos Molecular Systems Inc.
Anthony P. Cruz
Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategic Planning
Phone: (706) 227-1170 ext. 236
Fax: (706) 227-2180
Chromos Molecular Systems Inc.
CONTACT: Helen Zeitler, Director, Investor Relations & Communications,Chromos Molecular Systems Inc., Phone: 604-415-7127, Fax: 604-415-7151, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: http://www.chromos.com/; Anthony P. Cruz, VicePresident, Corporate Development & Strategic Planning, AviGenics Inc., Phone:706-227-1170 ext. 236, Fax: 706-227-2180, Email: email@example.com,Website: http://www.avigenics.com/