– Collaboration for Improved Separation Systems for Plasma Proteins
– Agreement to Combine Membrane and Ligand Technologies for Expanded Product Offerings
April 3, 2006 — /MARKET WIRE/ — GOETTINGEN, GERMANY, and MONTREAL, CANADA — Sartorius AG and ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. announced today the signing of a collaboration agreement utilizing bioseparation systems to recover proteins from human blood plasma. The agreement was signed between Sartorius and ProMetic’s subsidiary ProMetic BioTherapeutics, Inc. ProMetic has developed with its partners, an innovative proprietary process, the “Plasma Protein Purification System” (PPPS), to fractionate blood plasma, which it licenses out to the blood-processing industry. Within this alliance, Sartorius will be a preferred supplier and technology provider to ProMetic’s PPPS licensees for filtration equipment and consumables. In addition, Sartorius and ProMetic BioSciences Ltd have agreed to collaborate on the development of ligand-membrane composites for the isolation of the proteins from blood plasma and other sources. These affinity composites will be based on ProMetic BioSciences Ltd’s Mimetic Ligand(tm) technology and Sartorius’ membrane chromatography technology Sartobind(r).
Blood components, particularly plasma proteins, form the basis of therapies used to treat clotting and wound-healing disorders, immunodefects and infectious diseases. In order to recover active pharmaceutical proteins, such as factor VIII, plasminogen, fibrinogen, immunoglobulin G, A1PI or albumin during the fractionation process, the proteins are isolated and purified in various steps. While many plasma protein fractionators still use the traditional Cohn process, the innovative PPPS technology from ProMetic offers the advantage of considerably higher recovery yields, purity and processing speed. ProMetic’s proprietary technology can also be applied to the recovery of certain proteins that have established therapeutic value, but cannot be extracted effectively via current manufacturing practices.
Dr. Uwe Gottschalk, Vice President of Purification Technologies at Sartorius, stated that “the cooperation is in line with the company’s strategic focus on current limitations in bioseparation. Nowadays, plasma protein fractionators are concentrating on increasing the yields and the profitability of their processes. The combination of ProMetic’s innovative technology and Sartorius’ integrated technology portfolio comes along at exactly the right time. This will help to overcome current manufacturing bottlenecks and launch commercial-scale recovery of plasma-derived proteins.”
“The alliance will enable us to expand our product offering to our key customers by augmenting the capabilities of our ligand technologies,” said Steve Burton, Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic BioSciences Ltd. “For certain applications, affinity membranes offer advantages over conventional chromatography columns. We are very pleased to collaborate with Sartorius, which has a proven track record in the membrane adsorber field.”
The financial terms of the two agreements were not disclosed.
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI.SV) is a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications derived from its proprietary enabling technology. Mimetic Ligand(tm) technology is used in large-scale purification of biologics and the removal 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 inflammation and cancer. ProMetic’s drug discovery activities also aim at replacing complex, expensive proteins with synthetic “drug-like” protein mimetics. Headquartered in Montreal (Canada), ProMetic has R&D and manufacturing facilities in the UK and business development activities in the US, Europe, Asia and countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Additional information is available on the ProMetic’s website: www.prometic.com.
The Sartorius Group is an internationally leading laboratory and process technology supplier covering the segments of biotechnology and mechatronics. In 2005, the technology group earned sales revenue of 484.3 million euros. The Goettingen-based company founded in 1870 currently employs approx. 3,600 persons. Its biotechnology segment focuses on filtration and separation products, bioreactors and proteomics. The mechatronics segment manufactures, in particular, equipment and systems, which feature weighing, measurement and automation technology for laboratory and industrial applications, as well as hydrodynamic bearings. Sartorius key customers are from the pharmaceutical, chemical and food and beverage industries and from numerous research and educational institutes of the public sector. Sartorius has its own production facilities in Europe, Asia and America as well as sales subsidiaries and local commercial agencies in more than 110 countries. Additional information is available on the Sartorius website: www.sartorius.com
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements about ProMetic and Sartorius objectives, strategies and businesses that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are “forward-looking” because they are based on current expectations about the markets they 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 their businesses, or if such 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, its ability to take advantage of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes in economic conditions. A more detailed assessment with respect to ProMetic of the risks that could cause actual events or results to materially differ from current expectations is set out in ProMetic’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2005, under the heading “Risk Factors”. As a result, neither ProMetic nor Sartorius can guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize and they 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.
Investor Relations: ProMetic
Medias Contact: Sartorius
Vice President of Corporate Communications
+49(0)551/308-1686 or +49(0)172/5603281 (mobile)
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SOURCE: ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. and SARTORIUS AG