COPENHAGEN, DENMARK and MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA--(Marketwire - February 02, 2010) - Novozymes (OMX:NZYM B) ("Novozymes") and ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) ("ProMetic") announced today that they have entered into a strategic alliance regarding proprietary albumin purification technology based upon a synthetic-ligand affinity adsorbent developed by ProMetic's UK subsidiary, ProMetic BioSciences Ltd. The purification technology has been designed for the rapid and cost-effective development of Novozymes' albufuse® albumin-fusion molecules.
Under the terms of the co-marketing alliance the companies will jointly promote the use of a new synthetic-ligand affinity adsorbent, marketed under the trade-name AlbuPure®, as a platform approach for the purification of albumin and albumin-fusion proteins. ProMetic will be the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of AlbuPure®, however both parties will retain ownership of their respective technologies and both Novozymes and ProMetic will have the right to market AlbuPure®.
ProMetic and Novozymes Biopharma, a subsidiary of Novozymes, have collaborated on the development of AlbuPure® which was derived from ProMetic's Mimetic Ligand™ technology and targeted at the capture and purification of recombinant albumin proteins produced in yeast. AlbuPure® binds specifically to the albumin portion of the molecule and so can be used for the purification of any albufuse® albumin-fusion protein.
Novozymes Biopharma has a wealth of experience in the development of albumin-fusion proteins, having pioneered the albufuse® technology which is widely licensed for the manufacture of this increasingly important class of protein therapeutics. The market for biopharmaceutical proteins is estimated to be approx. $80BN and growing at more than 10% per annum.
According to Dr. Dave Mead, Novozymes Biopharma's Business Development Director: "Novozymes Biopharma has established itself as the market leader for recombinant albumin expression alongside its unique albufuse® technology. This alliance with ProMetic will enable us to expand the technology package offered to our clients to include both protein expression and protein purification technology for albumin-fusion proteins. The availability of a robust affinity capture step, fully supported by Novozymes Biopharma and ProMetic, will provide significant advantages to our clients, including reduced development times and simplified high-yield manufacturing processes". "The AlbuPure® development builds on a good and long-standing relationship between our two companies," added Dr. Mead.
Dr. Steve Burton, Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic Biosciences Ltd. commented: "ProMetic has a long history of collaboration with Novozymes Biopharma and this new alliance means a product developed by ProMetic for Novozymes can now be made available at large to developers and producers of albumin-fusion proteins. This arrangement benefits Novozymes, by enhancing the application of its albufuse® technology and ProMetic through expansion of the user-base for its Mimetic Ligand™ technology. We are very excited to support Novozymes in this initiative".
AlbuPure® is a registered trademark of Novozymes Biopharma UK Ltd.
About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (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™ 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 UK, the U.S. and Canada, manufacturing facilities in the UK and business development activities in the U.S., Europe, Asia and in the Middle-East.
Novozymes is the world leader in bioinnovation. Together with customers across a broad array of industries we create tomorrow's industrial biosolutions, improving our customers' business and the use of our planet's resources.
With over 700 products used in 130 countries, Novozymes' bioinnovations improve industrial performance and safeguard the world's resources by offering superior and sustainable solutions for tomorrow's ever-changing marketplace.
Novozymes' natural solutions enhance and promote everything from removing trans fats in cooking, to advancing biofuels to power the world tomorrow. Our never-ending exploration of nature's potential is evidenced by over 6,000 patents, showing what is possible when nature and technology join forces.
Our 5,000+ employees working in research, production and sales around the world are committed to shaping business today and our world tomorrow.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release 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 25 of ProMetic's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2008, 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. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless stated otherwise.