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Glenmark Purchases Rights to Two Therapeutic Antibodies from Chromos
Friday, July 20, 2007
Mumbai and Burnaby, British Columbia -- Glenmark Pharmaceuticals S.A., the wholly-owned Swiss subsidiary of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Glenmark) and Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. (Chromos) (TSX:CHR) of British Columbia, Canada, announced today that they have completed the purchase by Glenmark of Chromos' two New Biological Entities (NBE's) CHR-1103 and CHR-1201. The two NBE's are humanized monoclonal therapeutic antibodies.
Under the terms of the transaction agreements between Glenmark and Chromos, Glenmark has purchased all rights to the two products as well as rights to use Chromos' proprietary ACE System technology for cell line development for use with respect to CHR-1103 and CHR-1201. Glenmark holds the worldwide rights for further development, registration and commercialization of these products. Financial terms of the transaction are not to be released.
CHR-1103 and CHR-1201 are part of a validated class of drugs known as SAMI's (selective adhesion molecule inhibitors) that includes such drugs as ReoPro (Centocor/Lilly), Raptiva (Genentech/Xoma) and Tysabri (Biogen/Elan). CHR-1103 is a broad anti inflammatory agent with a novel mechanism of action, being developed initially to treat acute multiple sclerosis, for which there is no treatment approved at present. Glenmark plans to initiate Phase I clinical trials in 2008 and complete Phase I on CHR-1103 by March 2009. CHR- 1201 is an anti-thrombolytic humanized monoclonal antibody, which Glenmark plans to develop initially to treat acute stroke. Glenmark plans to start Phase I on CHR-1201 by March 2009.
On this occasion, Glenn Saldanha, Managing Director and CEO of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., stated, "This is a very important addition to our pipeline of Novel Biological Entities. These two NBE's would help accelerate our pipeline in the biologics space."
Michael Buschle, President - Biologics at Glenmark Switzerland said, "These therapies hold a lot of promise in areas of high unmet medical need and also fit very well within our areas of focus. We are delighted with the addition of these two highly exciting molecules to our rapidly expanding pipeline".
"We share Glenmark's enthusiasm for these antibodies, and are pleased that these therapies will be moved forward with the support of Glenmark's outstanding infrastructure and personnel" said Alistair Duncan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chromos. As part of Chromos' on-going restructuring proceedings under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Bankruptcy has approved this transaction. The upfront proceeds from this purchase transaction will be used to repay Chromos' secured creditors.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is a research-led, global, fully integrated pharmaceutical company headquartered in Mumbai, India. The Company is a leader in India in the discovery of new molecules and is focused in the areas of inflammation (Asthma/COPD, etc) and metabolic disorders (Diabetes, Obesity, etc).
The Company has generic formulation and API business interests in over 80 countries across the world including the highly regulated markets of USA and Europe. The formulation business spans several product segments such as Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Paediatrics, Gynaecology, ENT, Diabetes and Oncology.
Glenmark's first Asthma/COPD molecule, Oglemilast (GRC 3886), was licensed out to Forest Laboratories and Teijin Pharma Limited for the North American and Japanese markets, respectively, in two landmark deals. Oglemilast is presently undergoing Phase II clinical trials in the US. The Company's second lead GRC 8200, a DPP-IV inhibitor for Type II Diabetes was out-licensed to Merck KGaA, Germany for the North American, European and Japanese markets. A third molecule targeting pain, GRC 6211, is undergoing Phase II clinical trials in Europe. Glenmark has three other programmes across obesity, inflammation and pain management at the pre-clinical stages; all of which should enter the clinics in H1 FY 2008. (http://www.glenmarkpharma.com)
Chromos is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of its proprietary ACE System technology that is used to engineer production quality cell lines to manufacture biopharmaceutical products including monoclonal antibodies and the development of human therapeutic products. As part of its ongoing restructuring efforts, on April 12, 2007 Chromos filed a Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal to its creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. For more information visit our website at http://www.chromos.com.
Risks and Uncertainties Certain of the statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Chromos, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. To the extent possible, management implements strategies to reduce or mitigate the risks and uncertainties associated with Chromos' operations. Operating risks include (i) the continued availability of capital to finance Chromos' activities; (ii) Chromos' limited cash position, (iii) the ability to successfully obtain proof of the effectiveness of Chromos' technology (iv) the ability to complete and maintain corporate alliances relating to the development and commercialization of Chromos' technology; (v) the ability to obtain and enforce patent and other intellectual property protection for Chromos' technology; (vi) market acceptance of Chromos' technology; (vii) the competitive environment and impact of technological change; (viii) Chromos' ability to attract and retain employees to carry out its business plans; (ix) the timely development and commercialization of any technology or products that are contingent on the completion and maintenance of corporate alliances with third parties (x) the demand for repayment of the outstanding Notes by the Noteholders; (xi) approval of any proposal to creditors made under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act; and (xii) re-emergence from its reorganization proceedings. Further details on Chromos' operating risks can be found in its most recently filed Annual Information Form and in its Quarterly and Annual Reports to Shareholders.
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