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BioDiem Ltd. (BDM.AX) Signs Full Agreement With Australian National University for Dengue Fever Vaccine Technology


6/25/2012 10:53:03 AM

Melbourne, 25 June 2012: Australian infectious disease therapy and vaccine development company BioDiem Ltd (ASX: BDM) announced today the signing of a licensing agreement with Australian National University (ANU). This agreement is for an exclusive global license to commercialise a novel vaccine technology from the John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU.

Dengue Fever is the lead indication, but the technology may also facilitate the design of vaccines against a number of other infectious diseases including Murray River encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis. The increasing incidence of mosquito-borne disease is a major health concern worldwide as climate change expands the range of the carrier mosquitoes, exposing larger human populations.

The agreement includes provision for BioDiem to sublicense the technology. Industry standard royalties apply, but apart from a small contribution towards patent registration costs there is no up-front outlay for BioDiem. The agreement follows the signing of a term sheet announced to the ASX on 6 June 2012.

Dengue Fever is a disease caused by a mosquito-borne virus that affects between 50 and 100 million people a year, and according to the World Health Organization the incidence is increasing significantly. Although only a small percentage of cases are fatal, non-fatal cases can be extremely debilitating. Dengue Fever currently has no existing vaccine, and control methods currently include attempts to address mosquito populations with varying effectiveness.

The technology is complementary to the BioDiem portfolio as well as the company’s strategic focus on vaccines and therapies for infectious diseases and related cancers.

“We are delighted to announce the completion of this licensing agreement, which sees BioDiem’s commercial expertise in the area of vaccines fittingly partnered with the exciting research developed by ANU. Our focus on infectious diseases is an excellent fit for this new technology which has strong potential as an asset for outlicensing” said BioDiem CEO Julie Phillips.

BioDiem’s current strategy for the ANU technology includes leveraging the company’s global partnering network to deliver an outlicensing partner for development of the technology, providing an opportunity to secure a royalties stream without significant development costs on the part of BioDiem.

About BioDiem Ltd

BioDiem is an ASX-listed company based in Melbourne with an international focus on discovering, developing and commercialising world-class research and technology targeting cancers and infectious diseases. BioDiem’s core technologies include the Live Attenuated Influenza Virus (LAIV), the SAVINE platform and the BDM-I antimicrobial compound.

The LAIV influenza vaccine is an intranasal vaccine to prevent infection from seasonal and pandemic influenza.

The LAIV influenza vaccine can be produced using both egg-based and cell-based manufacturing methods.

The cell-based LAIV vaccine has completed a Phase II clinical trial in Europe. The egg-based LAIV vaccine technology is licensed to the World Health Organization as part of the Global Pandemic Influenza Action Plan to Increase Vaccine Supply.

The LAIV influenza vaccine is marketed as Nasovac™ in India by the Serum Institute of India, and has been licensed to China-based Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co. The LAIV vaccine was in-licensed from the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St Petersburg, Russia where it has been used for over a decade in many millions of people - children, adults and the elderly. The LAIV is administered by nasal spray and induces a rapid immune response in the mucosal lining of the nose and pharynx.

The LAIV is also being developed as a viral vector for making novel non-influenza vaccines for different diseases including cancers. Viruses have the ability to generate proteins prolifically and can be programmed to produce disease-specific proteins. As part of a vaccine, disease-specific proteins can help generate a beneficial immune response.

SAVINE (patented Scrambled Antigen Vaccine) is a platform technology for the design of antigens for incorporation into vaccines targeting an immune response to a range of different diseases. SAVINE antigens are encoded as synthetic genes which, together with a delivery technology such as BioDiem's LAIV-based vaccine vector technology, can be used to develop novel vaccines.

BDM-I is a synthetic compound targeted at the treatment of serious human infections. BDM-I is in the preclinical stage with outlicensing as the intended outcome. BDM-I is active against a range of pathogenic micro-organisms including gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Key patents have been filed around BDM-I’s antimicrobial activity, including for activity against Plasmodium falciparum, responsible for causing the most commonly severe form of malaria, and Trichomonas vaginalis, the protozoan responsible for causing a common sexually transmitted disease named trichomoniasis.

BioDiem is also developing BDM-E, a tetra peptide synthetic compound, as a treatment for ophthalmic disorders. The US Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) has granted Orphan Drug designation to BDM-E for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, a serious degenerative disease of the retina.

BioDiem’s research is ongoing in partnership with internationally recognised laboratories.

For additional information, please visit www.biodiem.com

Contact

Investors

Julie Phillips, Chief Executive Officer

BioDiem Ltd

Phone +61 3 9613 4100

Email jphillips@biodiem.com

Media

Tom Donovan

Buchan Consulting

Phone +61 3 8866 1224 / +61 422 557 107

Email tdonovan@buchanwe.com.au


Read at BioSpace.com


   
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