WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - June 25, 2009) - Miraculins Inc. (TSX VENTURE: MOM), a Canadian company focused on developing and commercializing medical diagnostic tests for unmet clinical needs, is pleased to announce the finalization of a Research Collaboration Agreement with Diagnostic Technologies Ltd. (DTL), an Israel based developer of diagnostic kits and devices for monitoring pregnancy disorders. In addition, Miraculins also announces the execution of a Cooperation and Project Funding Agreement with DTL and CIIRDF (Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation).
With the completion of these Agreements, Miraculins has now completed the requisites for obtaining the first payment of $156,000 from its $467,000 share of the previously approved grant funding for a joint research and development project entitled "Marker and test platform to assess preeclampsia risk." The full grant is payable in three equal tranches over a two year period.
"We are very pleased with the support from the CIIRDF of our joint project and look forward to a productive relationship with the team from DTL", stated Christopher J. Moreau, President & Chief Executive Officer of Miraculins Inc. "As our responsibilities under the project are largely aligned with our preeclampsia research program, we are pleased to be able to access additional non-dilutive capital to advance our lead research program. The potential commercialization of a product through our collaboration with DTL could help us to achieve increased access to global markets and help improve outcomes for expectant mothers and their children throughout the world."
In addition to looking at a number of biomarkers from Miraculins suite, including endoglin, a cell surface glycoprotein which was recently the key focus of a major study published in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled "Soluable Endoglin and Other Circulating Antiangiogenic Factors in Preeclampsia", the approximately $1.6 Million project will also leverage DTL's biomarker PP13 , a protein expressed in the placenta and currently used for preeclampsia risk assessment in the first trimester.
Through the research project the parties will collaborate to develop and test the performance of combinations of biomarkers for preeclampsia risk. Key components of the project include the collection of a large cohort of clinical samples from pregnant women throughout pregnancy, the development of reagents and assays for a number of markers from Miraculins preeclampsia suite, and the development of algorithms and software for combining the markers.
"Despite recent advances like the commercialization of PP13, preeclampsia continues to affect 3 million mothers worldwide every year and be a major cause of suffering through premature births and infant illness including cerebral palsy, blindness, epilepsy, deafness and lung conditions", added Dr. Stephen Frost, Director of Research and Development for Miraculins Inc. "The goal of our collaboration with DTL is to provide new diagnostic tools in the first trimester of pregnancy to aid physicians in the risk assessment of preeclampsia. These tools will be built upon the strong base provided by PP13, endoglin and other protein markers, the strength of research from our technology inventor, Dr. Isabella Caniggia, and the substantial expertise of key opinion leaders associated with DTL."
Preeclampsia is a devastating disease of pregnancy that affects 3-7% of all pregnant women. This disease is the leading cause of maternal and prenatal deaths worldwide, and the early identification of mothers at risk of developing preeclampsia is expected to help manage pregnancy and ensure better outcomes for pregnant women and their families.
About Miraculins Inc.
Miraculins is a medical diagnostic development company focused on non-invasive tests for unmet clinical needs. Miraculins is bridging the gap between commercially available diagnostic tests and research conducted at leading research institutions around the world.
The Company is executing a development plan for its suite of biomarkers for preeclampsia including the biomarker endoglin, the lead marker in the suite, to develop a serum based test for risk of preeclampsia. The Company's other lead program is the development of a prostate cancer diagnostic. Miraculins has successfully developed a urine based immunoassay for PSP94, its key prostate cancer marker, and is exploring commercialization opportunities for its intellectual property on PSP94's use in combination with other markers for detecting and differentiating high grade prostate cancer.
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