London, UK, 14 July 2011 - Ark Therapeutics Group plc (AKT: LSE) (“Ark” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce it has received notice of the award of a €5.3 million EU Framework Programme 7 Grant to a consortium led by Ark including two other SMEs and elements of the Yale-UCL Research Collaborative (Division of Medicine in UCL, and Departments of Cardiology in Yale and Queen Mary College London) and the University of Eastern Finland. The Grant supports the consortium’s involvement in a research programme to translate cutting edge biotechnology in the coronary stent area over four years. The Grant is subject to the formal process of contract negotiation with the European Commission (“EC”) which is anticipated to reach conclusion in September. Ark’s successful grant application was chosen from more than 40 applications across Europe and received an overall score of 13.5 out of a possible 15 from the EC's independent scientific report on the project’s technology.
The Grant will fund research that combines the technologies of the participants:
1) Ark's technology and expertise concerning adenoviral-delivered gene therapeutics, which will be delivered to the coronary artery after heart attack to restore the integrity of the artery; and
2) Use of a pro-healing and/or regenerative stent (in collaboration with Magnus Inventions and QualiMed, a German company which will make the stent).
The objective of the project will be to stimulate a healing process such that over time the stent will undergo a predictable degradation to leave a wholly biologically healed artery through regeneration of native tissues. The research programme is scheduled to commence in November this year and Ark will receive €1.1 million for its contribution to the project.
Martyn Williams, Chief Executive of Ark commented:
“The award to Ark of this significant EU grant further demonstrates the Company’s innovative science capabilities and validates the approach of gene therapy and stem cell therapy in the cardiovascular system. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with so many respected institutions and look forward to contributing to such an important disease area.”
Professor John Martin, Chief Scientific Officer at Ark commented:
“Grants, such as the EU Framework Grant announced today, provide much needed resources to carry out important research into areas where there is significant unmet need. We hope that this research will offer new hope to sufferers of heart disease, a condition that affects more than 50% of the population during their lifetime.”
For further information please contact:
Ark Therapeutics Group plc
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7388 7722
Martyn Williams, CEO
Iain Ross, Chairman
Tel: +44 (0)20 7831 3113
Ark Therapeutics Group plc
Ark Therapeutics Group plc is a specialist healthcare group (the "Group") addressing high value areas of unmet medical need within vascular disease and cancer. These are large and growing markets, where opportunities exist for effective new products to generate significant revenues.
Ark has an early stage pipeline emanating from collaborations with University College, London and the AI Virtanen Institute in Kuopio, Finland, the development of which it intends to progress in collaboration with pharmaceutical and biotech partners.
In addition Ark has the ability to off-set a proportion of its R&D costs and to generate sustainable revenues through the exploitation of its proprietary technology platform, process development, scale-up and manufacturing capabilities on behalf of third parties.
Ark has its origins in businesses established in the mid-1990s by Professor John Martin and Mr Stephen Barker of University College London and Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala of the AI Virtanen Institute at the University of Kuopio, Finland, all of whom remain consultants on the Company's research and development programmes.
Ark's shares were first listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2004 (AKT.L).
This announcement includes "forward-looking statements" which include all statements other than statements of historical facts, including, without limitation, those regarding the Group's financial position, business strategy, plans and objectives of management for future operations (including development plans and objectives relating to the Group's products and services), and any statements preceded by, followed by or that include forward-looking terminology such as the words "targets", "believes", "estimates", "expects", "aims", "intends", "will", "can", "may", "anticipates", "would", "should", "could" or similar expressions or the negative thereof. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors beyond the Group's control that could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Group to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions regarding the Group's present and future business strategies and the environment in which the Group will operate in the future. Among the important factors that could cause the Group's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include those relating to Ark's funding requirements, regulatory approvals, clinical trials, reliance on third parties, intellectual property, key personnel and other factors. These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this announcement. The Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained in this announcement to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based. As a result of these factors, readers are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statement.
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