WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Jan. 17, 2011) - Miraculins Inc. (TSX VENTURE:MOM), a medical diagnostic company focused on developing and commercializing diagnostic tests and risk assessment tools for unmet clinical needs, is pleased to announce that significant progress has been made towards the development of tests for a number of Miraculins' preeclampsia biomarkers. Miraculins' preeclampsia program is being advanced in partnership with Alere, Inc. (formerly Inverness Medical innovations) (NYSE:ALR), one of the world's largest diagnostic companies, with the goal of commercializing Miraculins' preeclampsia biomarkers for worldwide distribution.
Under the Collaborative Research and Option Agreement between the parties, Alere is responsible for developing immunoassays for Miraculins' protein biomarkers and evaluating their performance in Alere's global cohort of maternal patient blood samples. Importantly, Alere has now successfully completed the cloning and expression stage of development for a number of markers under the agreement, and in so doing has met and exceeded critical milestones under the development plan. Alere has also transferred antibodies to certain targets to Miraculins for further evaluation and use, including antibodies against soluble endoglin (sEng) which are being used in Miraculins' previously announced ultrasensitive assay for the detection of sEng.
Endoglin is the lead marker in the Miraculins' preeclampsia program and continues to receive worldwide attention from researchers as an important marker for preeclampsia and other disorders of pregnancy. The marker has been the subject of more than 50 peer-review publications in the past year. A recent study of 119 high risk pregnancies conducted by researchers from George Washington University, The University of Massachusetts and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School demonstrated that maternal serum levels of soluble endoglin are increased prior to preeclampsia onset in a heterogeneous high-risk pregnant population (Maynard et al, Hypertens Pregnancy: 2010; 29(3):330-341).
Alere maintains an exclusive option to all of Miraculins' preeclampsia biomarkers which are being advanced under its research commitment, and the option can be exercised at any time during the term of the agreement. Upon exercise of the option, Miraculins will receive additional fees, developmental and commercial milestone payments and royalties on sales.
"We are very pleased with the significant progress made on our preeclampsia program through our partnership with Alere," said Christopher J. Moreau, president and CEO of Miraculins Inc. "The diligent and efficient progress made since formalizing our partnership validates our decision to entrust our technology to our capable partners at Alere and we look forward to ongoing developments as the program continues to advance."
Currently, preeclampsia affects three million mothers worldwide every year and is a leading cause of maternal death, premature births and infant illness including cerebral palsy, blindness, epilepsy, deafness and lung conditions. There is no effective detection method for the risk of preeclampsia and the cause is unknown. It is estimated that preeclampsia costs the global health care system US$3 billion per year.
About Miraculins Inc.
Miraculins is a medical diagnostic development company focused on non-invasive tests for unmet clinical needs. Miraculins is bridging the gap between commercially available risk assessment and diagnostic tests and research conducted at leading research institutions around the world. The Company's recently acquired the PREVU* Skin Cholesterol Test, a non-invasive, inexpensive and painless tool for cardiovascular risk assessment that generates results in minutes. PREVU* has been previously cleared for sale by the FDA, Health Canada and CE-marked for sale in Europe. PREVU* has been successfully test marketed on a limited basis in North America. Additionally, the Company's preeclampsia program, a suite of biomarkers to aid in the early detection of the devastating disease of pregnancy, is being advanced in partnership with Alere, Inc. (NYSE:ALR) (formerly known as Inverness Medical Innovations), one of the world's largest diagnostic companies. For more information on Miraculins please visit www.miraculins.com.
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