MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(MARKET WIRE)--Dec 23, 2008 -- Paladin Labs Inc. (Toronto:PLB.TO - News), a leading Canadian specialty pharmaceutical company, announced today that it has acquired all the outstanding shares ViRexx Medical Corp. (Toronto:VIR.TO - News)(NasdaqGS:REX - News).
ViRexx is a Canadian-based development-stage biotech company focused on developing innovative-targeted therapeutic products. ViRexx has three proprietary technology platforms - Chimigen(TM) Vaccine Platform, T-ACT(TM) Platform and the AIT(TM) Platform.
The Chimigen(TM) Platform is a versatile platform technology being used primarily to generate therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Chimigen(TM) vaccines are designed to stimulate broad immune responses towards specifically targeted viral and foreign antigens. An early Chimigen(TM) Hepatitis B vaccine candidate completed a successful Phase I trial. Our goal will be to continue to develop the next generation Chimigen(TM) Hepatitis B vaccine towards completion of a Phase I trial in 2010.
The T-ACT(TM) Platform technology is deigned to interrupt blood supply to tumours, leading to tumour starvation and death. The lead product candidate of this platform is Occlusin(TM) 50 Injection, a treatment for primary cancer of the liver. This product has completed a Phase I trial in treating hepatocellular carcinoma as part of a transcatheter arterial chemoembolization. The second product candidate of the T-ACT(TM) Platform is Occulsin(TM) 500 AED, an embolic agent designed to treat hypervascular tumours including uterine fibroids. Our goal will be to seek partners for the future development of the T-ACT(TM) Platform.
The lead product candidates for the AIT(TM) Platform include OvaRex® MAb for ovarian cancer and BrevaRex® MAb for breast cancer. OvaRex® MAb was subject to one Phase II study examining combination chemo-immunotheray in front-line treatment, and two randomized, double blind and placebo controlled Phase III clinical trials examining immunotherapy during remission. BrevaRex® MAb was shown to be safe in a Phase I clinical trial in patients with MUC-1 expressing tumours. Our goal will be to seek partners for the future development of the AIT(TM) Platform.
Paladin paid $1,250,000 payable to existing ViRexx creditors. In addition, former ViRexx shareholders could receive a payment of up to $2,500,000, if certain conditions are met before December 31, 2009
"ViRexx spent over $30 million in developing its promising, innovative technology. Unfortunately, ViRexx got caught in this financial storm without the protection of cash. We intend to continue ViRexx's stated strategy of focusing resources on the Chimigen(TM) Platform while seeking outside partnerships for the T-ACT(TM) and AIT(TM) Platforms. We believe that our focused investment in Chimigen(TM) over the next 18 months may reward our shareholders through a lucrative partnering agreement," said Jonathan Ross Goodman, President and CEO.
As a result of this transaction, Paladin will be spending approximately $2 - $2.5 million in R&D in 2009 on the Chimigen(TM) platform and partnering activities. In addition, Paladin's non-capital losses and investment tax credits available to offset future taxable income has increased by a minimum of $28 million.
About Paladin Labs Inc.
Paladin Labs Inc., headquartered in Montreal, Canada, is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring or in-licensing innovative pharmaceutical products for the Canadian market. With this strategy, a focused national sales team and proven marketing expertise, Paladin has evolved into one of Canada's leading specialty pharmaceutical companies. For more information, please visit the Company's web site at www.paladinlabs.com.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements and predictions. These forward-looking statements, by their nature, necessarily involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Paladin Labs Inc. (the "Company") considers the assumptions on which these forward-looking statements are based to be reasonable at the time they were prepared, but cautions that these assumptions regarding the future events, many of which are beyond the control of the Company and its subsidiaries may ultimately prove to be incorrect. Factors and risks, which could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations, are discussed in the annual report as well as in the Company's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2007. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether a result of new information, future events, or except as required by law. For additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements, investors should consult the Company's ongoing quarterly fillings, annual report and Annual Information Form and other fillings found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com
Chief Financial Officer