Melbourne, 30 May 2012: Australian vaccine development company BioDiem Ltd (ASX: BDM) announces a
research agreement with the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the University of Miami, in the United States, to
test BioDiem’s proprietary therapeutic BDM-E in a pre-clinical model of the inherited degenerative eye disorder
retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The study will help to evaluate the potential of BDM-E to treat retinitis pigmentosa and
the spectrum of RP-like diseases in humans.
? In prior studies undertaken by BioDiem, the BDM-E compound has shown exciting promise in the area of
? Retinitis pigmentosa affects between an estimated 100,000 and 120,000 people in the U.S. alone
? The Foundation Fighting Blindness study will provide insight into the potential for BDM-E to treat retinitis
pigmentosa and the spectrum of RP-like retinal degenerations
? BioDiem has submitted a new provisional patent for BDM-E analogues and will present research results in
Berlin in July 2012
Retinitis pigmentosa is a serious eye disease that causes progressive degeneration of the delicate light receptor
cells in the retina, which over time diminishes night and peripheral vision and eventually leads to blindness. This
condition affects between an estimated one in 3,000 to one in 5,000 people, equivalent to approximately 100,000
to 120,000 people in the U.S. alone, and two to two and one-half million people worldwide. Currently there is only
one therapy, vitamin A supplementation, which can benefit a subgroup of people with retinitis pigmentosa by
slowing progression of disease. There are no therapies, however, that can prevent retinal degeneration or restore
vision lost. The study will examine the protective ability of BDM-E in a non-clinical model of an inherited eye
degeneration disorder that mimics retinitis pigmentosa.
The research will take place at the Foundation Fighting Blindness – National Neurovision Research Institutes’
Pre-Clinical Assessment Center at the internationally recognized Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of
Miami, under the directorship of Dr. Rong Wen, Professor of Ophthalmology. Industry-leading peptide supplier
Mimotopes will produce BDM-E for the study.
The National Neurovision Research Institute (NNRI) is a non-profit support organization of the Foundation Fighting
Blindness, which was founded in 1971 to fund the research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for
the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases. The NNRI is charged with assisting the translation of
fundamental research into clinical trials, and ultimately accelerating the availability of patient therapies.
Additional characterization work on BDM-E conducted both in Australia and overseas by BioDiem has been
completed, and the company has submitted a new provisional patent covering BDM-E analogues. This will further
strengthen the patent position of BDM-E and enhance its attractiveness for out licensing or a sale in line with
BioDiem’s strategy for this asset.
The research that forms the basis for this new patent will be presented at the Biennial Meeting of the International
Society for Eye Research (ISER) in Berlin in July 2012, one of the most eminent gatherings of ophthalmology
researchers in the world.
“The BDM-E compound has shown exciting promise in the area of retinal disease, and we are pleased to be
furthering BDM-E’s characterization and our research partnerships through this new association with the
Foundation for Fighting Blindness and the University of Miami,” said BioDiem Chief Executive Officer Julie Phillips.
“The world-class research conducted by our partners will give investors confidence in the authority of the results,
and contribute to the rounding out of BDM-E’s data package in anticipation of a high value divestment, as part of
BioDiem’s strategy to increasingly focus on infectious disease.”
About BioDiem Ltd
BioDiem is an ASX-listed company based in Melbourne with an international focus on discovering, developing and
commercialising world-class research and technology for vaccines. BioDiem’s core technologies derive from its
expertise with the Live Attenuated Influenza Virus (LAIV), which has been developed as an intranasal vaccine to
prevent infection from seasonal and pandemic influenza. BioDiem is also developing non-LAIV assets including
BDM-E and BDM-I.
BDM-E is a tetrapeptide being developed as a treatment for ophthalmic disorders. In September 2010 the United
States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) granted Orphan Drug designation to BDM-E for the treatment of
retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease of the retina. Both compounds are being further characterised through
research partnerships with internationally recognised laboratories.
BDM-I is a synthetic compound active against a range of pathogenic micro-organisms including gram-positive and
gram-negative bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Key patents have been filed around BDM-I’s antimicrobial action.
BDM-I is being developed for the treatment of serious human infections with outlicensing as the intended outcome.
BioDiem’s LAIV influenza vaccine can be produced using egg-based and cell-based manufacturing methods. The
cell-based LAIV vaccine has completed a Proof of Concept (Phase II) clinical trial. The egg-based LAIV vaccine
technology is licensed to the World Health Organization as part of the Global Pandemic Influenza Action Plan to
Increase Vaccine Supply. This allows governmental and non-governmental organizations or private companies in
developing countries to produce seasonal and pandemic vaccines in eggs. The LAIV influenza vaccine is marketed
as Nasovac™ in India by the Serum Institute of India. The LAIV is also being explored as a viral vector for use in
the development of novel non-influenza vaccines.
In December 2011 BioDiem acquired Savine Therapeutics Pty Ltd. SAVINE is a platform technology for the design
of antigens for incorporation into vaccines targeting a range of different diseases.
For additional information, please visit www.biodiem.com
About Foundation Fighting Blindness
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a Columbia, MD, US-based national non-profit organization driving research
that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome
and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. Since 1971,
the Foundation has raised over $450 million as the leading non-governmental funder of retinal research.
Breakthrough Foundation-funded studies using gene therapy have restored significant vision in children and young
adults who were previously blind, paving the way for using this method to treat a variety of retinal degenerative
diseases, and proving a cure is in sight. With a network of 50 chapters, the Foundation also provides support,
education and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.
For additional information, please visit www.fightblindness.org
Julie Phillips, Chief Executive Officer T
BioDiem Ltd B
Phone +61 3 9613 4100 Ph
Email firstname.lastname@example.org E
Phone +61 3 8866 1224 / +61 422 557 107