DULUTH, GA and PITTSBORO, NC--(Marketwire - July 15, 2010) - Biolex Therapeutics, Inc and Merial Ltd today announced that they have entered into a new, broad-ranging research and development collaboration to produce innovative veterinary vaccines. The collaboration will combine Biolex's proprietary Lemna expression system (LEX System(SM)) with Merial's expertise and commercial presence in veterinary vaccines. No financial details were released.
The Biolex LEX System offers Merial a platform that could redefine the manufacturing environment for a wide range of vaccines, even those that are difficult to express in more traditional systems. In comparison to conventional manufacturing facilities the LEX System offers a simpler and more cost effective option to produce vaccines, leading to improved efficacy, lowered biosecurity issues and reduced needs for capital investment. The LEX System uses Lemna (duckweed) plants, a unique and completely contained plant expression system.
Biolex will collaborate with Merial to research and improve the yield and production of certain, identified targets that have already demonstrated a unique vaccine profile with superior efficacy. Biolex will also work on additional Merial nominated vaccine targets which, when optimized, will enter into the full development and commercialization phase under the control of Merial.
Said Jan Turek, Biolex President and Chief Executive Officer -- "We are very excited about working with a leader in veterinary vaccines. The broad expansion of the Merial collaboration is a clear demonstration of the potential of our LEX System to produce safer and more efficacious vaccines in a more cost and capital efficient manner. We also intend to leverage the benefits of our platform for human vaccines in one or more partnerships with leading human vaccine companies."
Said Ellen de Brabander, Merial's Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Global R&D -- "We have been working with Biolex for some years now and are very impressed with the potential of the LEX System. This agreement is an exciting and significant step towards building a next generation manufacturing environment for a new and innovative class of biological products for animals."
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2009 sales were $2.6 billion. Merial is the Animal Health subsidiary of sanofi-aventis.
For more information, please see www.merial.com.
About Biolex Therapeutics
Biolex is a biopharmaceutical company that uses its patented LEX System(SM) to develop follow-on biologics, hard-to-make therapeutic proteins and to optimize monoclonal antibodies. The LEX System is a novel technology that genetically transforms the aquatic plant Lemna to enable the production of biologic product candidates.
The company's product candidates are designed to provide superior efficacy/tolerability profiles and to address large, proven pharmaceutical markets. Biolex's lead product candidate, Locteron®, is in Phase 2b clinical testing for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.
Biolex has also developed two other product candidates that capitalize on the benefits of the LEX System. BLX-301 is a humanized anti-CD20 antibody glyco-optimized for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma and other diseases. BLX-155 is a direct-acting thrombolytic designed to dissolve blood clots in patients.
For more information, please see www.biolex.com.