BioDiem Ltd. (BDM.AX) Licenses LAIV Technology to Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co.
Melbourne, 9 February 2012: Australian vaccine development company BioDiem Ltd (ASX: BDM) today announced that it has licensed its Live Attenuated Influenza Virus (LAIV) vaccine technology to China-based Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co. (BCHT). This is an exclusive licence for the Chinese private sector market for pandemic and seasonal influenza vaccines made using an egg-based production method. BCHT holds a complementary licence to the LAIV for the public market in China via a sublicence from the World Health Organisation.
BCHT is a well-established technology company engaged in medical research and development, marketing and production, based in Jilin Province's High Tech Zone. Established in 2004, the company now employs more than 600 employees and has developed significant in-house expertise in viral technology development with particular successes in the areas of influenza and preventative HIV vaccines.
BioDiem's LAIV vaccine is based on a well-established vaccine type, where the virus has been weakened and simply presents the immune system with the proteins needed to establish immunity. BioDiem's vaccine has the additional advantage of being delivered through a nasal spray, eliminating the need for injections, which increases patient acceptability and compliance. Furthermore, BioDiem's LAIV vaccine has been shown to produce a broader immune response, more akin to the natural immune response, than standard flu shots delivered through injection.
BioDiem's LAIV technology platform is compatible with both egg and cell-based production methods. Egg-based production is the industry standard, but cell-based production is recognised as advantageous for its ability to produce huge numbers of vaccines at speed, as well as its freedom from requiring pathogen-free eggs. BioDiem CEO Julie Phillips said "We are delighted to have secured another licence for our LAIV technology. BCHT is an experienced and well-regarded vaccine developer and producer. It has its own R&D and production facilities and marketed products. China is an exciting territory with an enormous potential market for influenza vaccines and we are pleased to enter it through our new partnership with BCHT for BioDiem's LAIV technology." BCHT's President, Dr Wei Kong, said "We see a huge opportunity in building a LAIV influenza vaccine platform in China. The LAIV technology's versatility and ability to be administered without injection makes it a very attractive asset, which we believe will be particularly competitive in China."
The licensing deal will substantially expand the application of LAIV technology and promote BioDiem's business prospects. The specific terms and royalty agreements described in the licence are in line with industry standards, but are subject to commercial confidentiality.
About BioDiem Ltd
BioDiem is an ASX-listed company based in Melbourne with an international focus on discovering, developing and commercialising world-class research and technology for vaccines. BioDiem's lead technology is the Live Attenuated Influenza Virus (LAIV) technology, which has been developed as an intranasal vaccine to prevent infection from seasonal and pandemic influenza.
The LAIV influenza vaccine can be produced using egg-based and cell-based manufacturing methods. The cell- based LAIV vaccine has completed a Proof of Concept (Phase II) clinical trial .The egg-based LAIV vaccine technology is licensed to the World Health Organization as part of the Global Pandemic Influenza Action Plan to Increase Vaccine Supply. This allows governmental and non-governmental organizations or private companies in developing countries to produce seasonal and pandemic vaccines in eggs. The LAIV influenza vaccine is marketed as NasovacTM in India by the Serum Institute of India. The LAIV is also being explored as a viral vector for use in the design of novel non-influenza vaccines.
In December 2011 BioDiem acquired Savine Therapeutics Pty Ltd. Savine is a platform technology for the design of antigens for incorporation into vaccines targeting a range of different diseases.
About LAIV Technology
The Live Attenuated Influenza Virus (LAIV) vaccine was in-licensed from the Institute of Experimental Medicine in St Petersburg, Russia, where it has been approved and used in its present form for over a decade in many millions of people - children, adults and the elderly.
The LAIV is administered by nasal spray and induces a rapid immune response in the mucosal lining of the nose and pharynx. The vaccines are based on ‘Master Donor Strains' that have been rendered ‘cold adapted' and temperature sensitive, such that they will not replicate readily at temperatures above 33?C, as found in the lungs. The administration of the live vaccine stimulates mucosal, cellular and humoral immune responses (which are required to optimise the effective prevention of influenza), without causing the disease.
For additional information, please visit www.biodiem.com
About Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co
Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co. is a high-tech company engaged in the research and development, production and sale of innovative medicines, including biologicals. The company is located in Jilin and was qualified as a high-tech company by the Science and Technology Bureau of Jilin Province in 2004. The company has undertaken research and development of many biologic and technological innovations since its foundation, including preventative HIV vaccines. In 2008, the independently researched and developed Varicella vaccine (Live) was manufactured, and more than ten other innovative products are in pre-clinical and clinical testing. Its subsidiary company, Jilin Maifeng Biopharmaceutical Co., Ltd. produces and sells an internationally recognised rabies vaccine which has been independently researched and developed by the company.
Julie Phillips, Chief Executive Officer T
BioDiem Ltd B
Phone +61 3 9613 4100 Ph
Email [email protected] E
Phone +61 3 8866 1224 / +61 422 557 107
Email [email protected]