VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - 01/12/10) - MedGenesis Therapeutix Inc. ("MedGenesis"), a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing innovative treatments for patients with serious central nervous system (CNS) diseases, announced today that it has successfully entered into an agreement with Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN - News) ("Amgen"), granting MedGenesis an exclusive, worldwide license for glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) protein in CNS and non-CNS indications, subject to the rights of a co-exclusive licensee for CNS indications in certain countries, as further described below. As part of the license agreement, Amgen now holds a small equity stake in MedGenesis. In parallel, Biovail Laboratories International SRL, a subsidiary of Biovail Corporation (NYSE:BVF - News)(TSX:BVF - News), Canada's largest publicly traded pharmaceutical company, and MedGenesis have concluded an agreement to collaborate on the development of GDNF in Parkinson's disease and potentially other CNS indications. Biovail, which is also a party to the Amgen license for CNS indications and which has a co-exclusive license to exploit GDNF in certain countries (including the U.S., Canada, Japan and a number of European countries), contributes significant development expertise, a broad-based commercialization track record, and a focus on CNS disorders.
MedGenesis has also granted Biovail a license to its Convection Enhanced Delivery (CED) platform for use with GDNF in CNS indications. MedGenesis and Biovail will initially focus on the development of GDNF for Parkinson's disease, a progressive and debilitating neurological disease affecting close to 5 million patients worldwide. GDNF is a naturally-occurring growth factor capable of protecting and promoting the survival of dopamine producing nerve cells.
"This license of GDNF from Amgen presents MedGenesis and Biovail with an exciting opportunity to develop a potential breakthrough therapy for the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease. We believe that our Convection Enhanced Delivery approach will result in accurate, targeted delivery of GDNF to the regions of the brain affected by this severely debilitating disease and holds the promise of providing patients for the first time with a treatment which could potentially modify the disease, rather than just treat the symptoms," said Dr. Erich Mohr, Chairman and CEO of MedGenesis. "We are also excited to have licensed the GDNF protein exclusively from Amgen in non-CNS indications and to have the opportunity to investigate additional applications of the molecule through similar collaborations with other potential partners."
About MedGenesis Therapeutix Inc.
MedGenesis is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics to provide life-enhancing treatments to patients with serious neurologic diseases. MedGenesis is a worldwide leader in CED, a minimally invasive technique that provides for targeted, local treatment of CNS conditions such as epilepsy, brain cancer and other severely debilitating diseases of the CNS.
This news release contains certain forward looking statements that reflect the current views and/or expectations of the company with respect to its performance, business and future events. Such statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results and events may vary significantly.
MedGenesis Therapeutix Inc.
Chief Financial Officer