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Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. Licenses ALS Antibodies To Biogen Idec, Inc. (Massachusetts) (BIIB); Amorfix To Receive $1 Million Upfront


7/15/2010 7:37:21 AM

TORONTO, July 14 /CNW/ - Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX:AMF - News) today announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement granting Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB - News) exclusive worldwide rights to Amorfix's lead amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) monoclonal antibodies. The antibodies have shown efficacy in animal models of ALS and Biogen Idec will now, at its expense, complete the development and prepare for clinical trials.

"We are very pleased to be working with a global biotech leader like Biogen Idec to bring our novel therapy to the patients who suffer from ALS and their families," said Dr. Neil Cashman, Amorfix's Chief Scientific Officer.

Under the agreement, Biogen Idec will receive the exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize Amorfix's Disease Specific Epitopes (DSE(TM)) antibodies for ALS while Amorfix retains all rights for vaccines and diagnostics. Amorfix will receive an up-front payment of US$1 million and is eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on sales. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Biogen Idec is committed to expanding our discovery efforts in neurology research and development to areas with high unmet medical need like ALS. We are excited about the opportunity to advance research efforts in the SOD1 pathway, which plays an important role in the neurodegenerative process in ALS," said Ken Rhodes, PhD, Vice President, Discovery Neurobiology, Biogen Idec.

"New treatments for ALS are urgently needed," said Mr. David Cameron, President & CEO of the ALS Society of Canada, "and it is encouraging to see a partnership towards that potential entered into between a Canadian company and an established biotechnology company."

The licensed intellectual property includes DSE and antibodies arising from Amorfix's discovery platform using the ProMIS(TM) algorithm for prediction of DSEs on misfolded proteins. This unique approach enables the discovery of antibodies that recognize and inhibit only the misfolded protein which forms in the disease, while allowing the normal protein to continue to function.

Dr. Robert Gundel, CEO of Amorfix, said: "In addition to being an important step in advancing our treatment for ALS to the market, our partnership with Biogen Idec validates the value of the ProMIS(TM) discovery platform, which we are using now to develop antibodies and vaccines for cancers. An important part of our business strategy is to quickly generate shareholder value by identifying strong partners to assist in the rapid advancement of our growing product pipeline. We have previously announced our partnership with PREVENT to develop the ALS vaccine technology."

About Amorfix

Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX:AMF - News) is a theranostics company developing therapeutic products and diagnostic devices targeting misfolded protein diseases including ALS, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Amorfix utilizes its computational discovery platform, ProMIS(TM), to predict novel Disease Specific Epitopes ("DSE") on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins. Amorfix's lead therapeutic programs include antibodies and vaccines to DSEs in ALS, Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Amorfix's proprietary Epitope Protection(TM) (EP) technology enables it to specifically identify very low levels of aggregated misfolded proteins (AMP) in a sample. The Company's diagnostic programs include an ultrasensitive method for the detection of aggregated Beta-Amyloid in brain tissue and blood of animal models of Alzheimer's disease, months prior to observable amyloid formation, and human blood screening tests for Alzheimer's and early liver cancer detection. For more information about Amorfix, visit www.amorfix.com.

Forward Looking Information

This information release may contain certain forward-looking information. Such information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by statements herein, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to it as well as other factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by the Company in its public securities filings, actual events may differ materially from current expectations. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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