MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA--(Marketwire - March 31, 2010) - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI)
Plasma project progressing with China's largest pharmaceutical group
Initial technology transfer completed successfully
WIBP scientists' training at ProMetic's Rockville facility completed
Next milestone will be the manufacturing of GMP products in Q2 2011
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) ("ProMetic") announced today it has completed the first milestone of its strategic collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products ("WIBP"), a subsidiary of China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp ("Sinopharm"), China's largest pharmaceutical company. The initial technology transfer stage was successfully accomplished and ProMetic completed the training for six WIBP scientists at its Rockville facility.
By early summer, ProMetic expects to have initiated the second technology transfer stage as well as the collaboration with WIBP on the scaling-up to pre-clinical manufacturing capacity. These phases are expected to be completed by fall 2010. In the meantime, WIBP will integrate ProMetic's Plasma Protein Purification System ("PPPS™") into the retrofit of its GMP pilot facility.
Following these steps, WIBP will initiate production of its first GMP products for the Chinese market in the second quarter of 2011. WIBP's products will be manufactured under licence using ProMetic's proprietary protein technologies. These products will then move into clinical trials to demonstrate their bioequivalence to commercialized products in order to obtain required regulatory approval from the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration ("SFDA").
"Sinopharm is the largest pharmaceutical company in China and this country is expected to become the fourth largest domestic market in the world for pharmaceutical products by 2012. This is a very strategic project for ProMetic and WIBP," said Mr. Pierre Laurin, President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic. Mr. Laurin added: "We are extremely pleased with the progress that has been achieved to date. While short term revenue from our activities in Asia with our partners such as WIPB is modest for 2010, revenue will gradually increase as production volumes ramp-up and, when their operations are at full scale, is anticipated to exceed $40 Million annually."
More about Wuhan Institute of Biological Products
WIBP (www.wibp.com.cn or www.wibp.com.cn/en), located in Wuhan, China, one of the subsidiaries of Sinopharm, has over 50 years experience in the fields of biomedical research and product development; historically strong in R&D, WIBP is the only institute certified by state to offer doctoral program among six Institute of Biological Products in Sinopharm,. Today, WIBP has more than 1,200 employees, and major products include two dozen vaccines and plasma derivatives currently marketed throughout the China.
More about China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation
China National Pharmaceutical Group Corporation ("Sinopharm"), founded on November 26, 1998, is China's largest pharmaceutical group company. Incorporating research with production and service trade, the Company has, under the control of the central government, under its jurisdiction 22 wholly owned subsidiaries or shareholding companies. Sinopharm has established trading and cooperative relations with nearly 1,000 companies in more than 100 countries and regions across the world. It has set up subsidiaries or representative offices in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Germany, France, the United States and Africa. At present, the company is turning its business from mainly domestic operations to multinational operations. Ever since its establishment, SINOPHARM and its subsidiaries have been in charge of national centralized reserves, allocation and supply of emergency and relief medicines, traditional Chinese medicines and medical equipment.
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 Montréal (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.
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 24 of ProMetic's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2009, 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.