LOS ANGELES, USA and LAVAL, QUEBEC, CANADA--(Marketwire - July 30, 2012) - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI) ("ProMetic") and NantPharma, LLC ("NantPharma") today announced the formation of an affiliate biopharmaceutical company, NantPro BioSciences, LLC, to develop and commercialize a plasma-derived biopharmaceutical product for the US market. The newly formed US based company has entered into exclusive development, licensing and manufacturing agreements with ProMetic.
Under these agreements, ProMetic has granted NantPro rights to its Plasma Protein Purification System ("PPPS™") and Prion Reduction technologies for the exclusive development and commercialization of a plasma-derived biopharmaceutical product for the US market. The agreements provide ProMetic with grant back rights to the biopharmaceutical product for markets outside the US, subject to payment of royalties by ProMetic to NantPro arising from ProMetic sales outside the US. NantPharma has made an initial contribution of US $2.5 million to NantPro, which in turn paid all of these funds to ProMetic under the various agreements for NantPro to access the technology rights from ProMetic. NantPharma has the right to make additional capital contributions in exchange for an increased equity stake. NantPro will in turn use these additional funds to pay ProMetic for the development and manufacturing costs of the plasma-derived biopharmaceutical product. NantPro has engaged ProMetic for the development and manufacturing services, including the production in its Laval facility of cGMP bulk active batches to enable the IND filing and provide product required for bioequivalence clinical trials. Upon FDA approval, ProMetic will manufacture and supply the commercial requirements of the cGMP bulk active with NantPharma completing the final sterile manufacturing steps, expected to occur at its Terre Haute, Indiana facility.
"Plasma-derived products are urgently needed for the treatment of auto-immune and other diseases," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Chairman of NantPharma. "Safety and reliability are paramount in the manufacture of these products. The combination of ProMetic's state-of-the-art and proven technologies with NantPharma's expertise and resources, will enable us to produce the finest quality plasma-derived therapeutics for this vital market."
Pierre Laurin, President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. commented: "Dr. Soon-Shiong has demonstrated with his impressive track record the importance in achieving the highest quality standard when it comes to providing biologic products for critically ill patients. We are very pleased to be working again closely with Dr. Soon-Shiong and his colleagues on the development of this best-in-class biopharmaceutical product to address unmet medical needs.
About NantPharma LLC
NantPharma is a NantWorks company whose products include high quality, biologically derived pharmaceuticals. NantPharma operates a number of drug manufacturing and research facilities throughout the US. In January 2012, it announced the acquisition and redevelopment of a former Pfizer facility in Terre Haute, Indiana, with a commitment to invest $85.5 million to produce critical care injectable and oncological drugs. The new plant is expected to become operational in 2015. NantWorks recently announced a $125 million investment by leading investment firm Blackstone in NantPharma. For more information, see www.nantworks.com.
About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (www.prometic.com) is a biopharmaceutical company specializing 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 Laval (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, 2011, under the heading "Risk and Uncertainties related to ProMetic's business". 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.