SYDNEY, Australia, Oct. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- EvoGenix Limited today reported that it had completed the first project in its collaboration with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The completed project is the first of up to three projects which may be undertaken under the collaboration agreement.
In reporting to GSK, EvoGenix noted its view that all goals set at the start of the project had been met in the work carried out by its R&D team. This is to be confirmed by GSK who are now undertaking internal evaluation of the results obtained. Provision of the final report triggers a further payment to EvoGenix from GSK under the terms of the collaboration agreement between the two companies.
Under this agreement, which was signed late in 2005, EvoGenix used its protein optimisation technology, EvoGene(TM), to develop improved versions of a protein from the GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical pipeline. GSK will be responsible for all subsequent development of the product, with EvoGenix eligible to earn a number of milestone payments as each product progresses through clinical testing towards the market. EvoGenix will also earn royalty payments on sales of products marketed successfully.
EvoGenix is employing its protein optimisation methods in developing valuable protein therapeutics internally, as well as in its collaborations with GSK and CSL Limited.
EvoGenix CEO, Merilyn Sleigh, noted that completion of the project with GSK adds to the commercial validation of EvoGenix' technology capabilities.
"In addition to this collaborative project, we have recently announced the successful optimisation of our first internal product, a protein to treat osteoporosis," she said. "In both projects, our technology has been used to fine tune the properties of potentially valuable therapeutics, to give them the best chance of success in treating patients safely and effectively, and of going on to become valuable products in the market place."
EvoGenix Limited has established leading technology capabilities for creating high value antibody and protein-based therapeutics. The company exploits its capabilities through technology collaborations with partner companies, and by development in-house of a succession of wholly-owned antibody and protein products.
Antibodies are natural proteins designed to attack, block and remove unwanted materials from the body. Antibodies are usually first made in mice, rats (or sometimes hamsters) and in their initial state are unsuitable for use in patients because the foreign protein is rapidly rejected by the human immune system.
The EvoGenix technology can convert a research-stage antibody into a high potency therapeutic suitable for long term administration to patients. This is a key value-creating step in antibody development.
The technology operates in two stages
* Superhumanisation(TM), a superior approach for modifying antibodies
generated in animals so that they retain their essential therapeutic
properties but appear "human-like" and will not be rejected by the
immune system of patients receiving them.
* EvoGene(TM) Optimisation, a highly efficient, novel process for fine-
tuning antibodies and other proteins to increase their activity. The
process involves making billions of copies of the antibody, each with
one or two small changes compared with the original. The copies are then
tested to find those with improved properties, for example more powerful
attachment to a target to improve potency, or more effective cancer cell
EvoGene(TM) technology can also be used to optimise other types of protein pharmaceuticals in addition to antibodies.
EvoGenix is progressively building company value by assembling a portfolio of revenues from technology collaborations using its unique technology capabilities. Multi project collaborations with GlaxoSmithKline and Australia's CSL Limited have been announced in the past 12 months.
At the same time EvoGenix is advancing its internal product pipeline, with current products aimed at the treatment of osteoporosis, lung cancer, melanoma and respiratory infections. Generally, these will be out-licensed prior to the clinical stage to meet the existing high demand for new biotherapeutic products in the pharmaceutical industry.
For further information:
Dr Merilyn Sleigh
Chief Executive Officer