WUHAN, BEIJING, CHINA, AND MONTREAL, March 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, ("WIBP") a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group ("CNBG") and ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") announced today that they have signed a strategic alliance and license agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, WIBP gains exclusive access to ProMetic's Plasma Protein Purification System ('PPPS") for the Chinese market. Upon successfully implementing this technology, WIBP will be able to significantly improve its capability in the manufacturing of plasma-derived products in China.
ProMetic will assist WIBP to implement a product development program that is being initiated immediately, which includes training, technology transfer, and scale up, as well as readiness of the clinical manufacturing facility. WIBP will take the lead in conducting the clinical trials to obtain required regulatory approval by the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration ("SFDA"). Full scale commercial manufacturing will take place at WIBP initially, could be readily implemented by other affiliated companies within CNBG later, with the goal to achieve a minimum capacity greater than 1.2 million L plasma per year.
"The integration of ProMetic's technologies into WIBP's existing manufacturing infrastructure will significantly increase WIBP's manufacturing capacity and enable WIBP to better meet the ever growing demand in China," stated Ms. Lifang Wang, President & Chief Executive Officer of CNBG.
"This agreement leverages each company's expertise and is expected to build value while bringing a new generation of plasma-derived products to the Chinese market," explained Mr. Gungrong Zhou, Director of WIBP. "The company will utilize ProMetic's new manufacturing technology to improve the quality of the current products as well as to introduce new products to meet the medical need."
"WIBP's proven track record in the development and marketing of plasma-derived products in China is strategic for ProMetic," commented Mr. Pierre Laurin, President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic. "With its rapid economic growth, China is poised to become the world's fourth largest domestic market for pharmaceuticals."
The products being targeted initially will include thrombin, fibrinogen, albumin, intravenous immunoglobulin, Alph-1 protease inhibitor and multiple hyperimmunoglobulins such as anti-hepatitis B immunoglobulin, anti-rabies immunoglobulin, anti-tetanus immunoglobulin. These products are expected to start reaching commercial stage by 2012 / 2013. Additional products will be added later.
"We are very please to introduce this manufacturing platform to WIBP, which in addition to provide significant yield improvement over the current technology, also allows for additional products to be recovered from plasma," commented Dr. Tom Chen, Vice-President, Process Development of ProMetic BioTherapeutics, Inc.
"With advantages of higher yield and more products produced from each unit of plasma collected, this technology provides us with an ideal solution to best utilize the precious raw material- plasma, currently in short supply, as well as broaden our product portfolio to better serve medical needs in China. We are very exciting to work with ProMetic in implementing this promising manufacturing technology," commented Dr. Xiaoming Yang, Deputy Director who is in charge of R&D and Sales & Marketing in WIBP.
More about Wuhan Institute of Biological Products
Wuhan Institute of Biological Products ("WIBP") (www.wibp.com.cn), located in Wuhan, China. is one of the subsidiaries of CNBG, has over 50 years experience in the fields of biomedical research and product development; historically strong in R&D, WIBP is the only institute certified by state to offer doctoral program among six Institute of Biological Products in CNBG. Today, WIBP has more than 1,000 employees, and major products include two dozen vaccines and plasma derivatives currently marketed throughout the China.
More about China National Biotec Group
China National Biotec Group (CNBG) (www.cnbgint.com or www.cnbg.com.cn), headquartered in Beijing, China , is a state-owned enterprise and the largest biotech company in China dedicated to discover, develop, manufacture and market a broad range of human health products, including vaccines, blood derivatives, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostic reagents and others. With more than 9,000 employees and revenues of 421 million USD in 2006, CNBG is the largest producer of vaccines and blood derivatives in China, enjoying more than 80% and 30% market share respectively. The company consists of 6 Institute of Biological Products and an international trading company.
About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") (www.prometic.com) is a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications derived from its proprietary Mimetic Ligand(TM) technology. This technology is used in large-scale purification of biologics and the elimination of pathogens. ProMetic is also active in therapeutic drug development with the mission to bring to market effective, innovative, lower cost, less toxic products for the treatment of hematology and cancer. Its drug discovery platform is focused on replacing complex, expensive proteins with synthetic "drug-like" protein mimetics. Headquartered in Montreal (Canada), ProMetic has R&D facilities in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada, manufacturing facilities in the U.K. and business development activities in the U.S., Europe, Asia and in the Middle-East.
About ProMetic BioTherapeutics, Inc.
ProMetic BioTherapeutics, Inc. ("PBT") is the world leader in plasma protein fractionation technology. Headquartered in Rockville, MD (U.S.), PBT is proprietor of a unique, proven, state-of-the-art solution for plasma fractionation Plasma Protein Purification System ("PPPS"). The advantages of PBT's protein extraction technology are being increasingly recognized worldwide.
About ProMetic BioSciences Ltd
Using its unique and proprietary Mimetic Ligand(TM) technology, ProMetic BioSciences Ltd ("PBL") specializes in the development and manufacture of robust affinity separation materials which provide very high levels of purification. This is achieved by use of small chemical affinity ligands designed to bind a target biomolecule specifically and reversibly. In view of their use for the production of therapeutics, ProMetic's affinity products are manufactured according to a strict quality system based on good manufacturing practice at PBL's ISO 9001:2000 certified manufacturing facility on the Isle of Man, which completed a (pnds stlg)1.5 million expansion in 2005. PBL also operates an R&D laboratory located on the Cambridge Science Park, United Kingdom.
Forward Looking Statements
This document contains forward-looking statements about ProMetic's objectives, strategies and businesses that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are "forward-looking" because they are based on our current expectations about the markets we operate in and on various estimates and assumptions. Actual events or results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks affect our business, or if our estimates or assumptions turn out to be inaccurate. Such risks and assumptions include, but are not limited to, ProMetic's ability to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialize value-added pharmaceutical products, the availability of funds and resources to pursue R&D projects, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the ability of ProMetic to take advantage of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes in economic conditions. You will find a more detailed assessment of the risks that could cause actual events or results to materially differ from our current expectations on page 21 of ProMetic's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2006, under the heading "Risk Factors". As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other reason, unless required by applicable securities laws and regulations.
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