Press Release: Virax Holdings Grants TRANSGENE Co-X-Gene Technology License for Two Immunotherapeutic Products
Virax Holdings Grants TRANSGENE Co-X-Gene Technology License for Two Immunotherapeutic Products MELBOURNE, Australia, March 13 -- Virax Holdings Limited. announced today that it has entered into a license agreement with the French biopharmaceutical company, Transgene S.A. The license grants Transgene exclusive access to Virax's Co-X-Gene(TM) technology patents for use in two of Transgene's immunotherapeutic products, TG4010 (MVA-MUC1-IL2) and TG4001 (MVA-HPV-IL2). These products are currently in Phase IIb clinical trials for treating non small cell lung cancer (TG 4010) and in preparation for Phase III trials against Human Papilloma Virus-associated pathologies (TG 4001). The license applies specifically to the United States and Canada and to Transgene's TG4010 expressing MUC1 and IL2, and TG4001 expressing HPV antigens and IL2. Under the terms of the agreement, Virax will receive an upfront license fee and will share in fees and milestone payments received by Transgene in the event that it licenses out either of the products covered by the Co-X-Gene(TM) technology license and they achieve agreed development milestones. Virax could receive up to US$12 million under the agreement (US$9 million for TG4010 and US$3 million for TG4001). In addition Virax will receive a royalty on net sales of the licensed products in North America. Specific financial terms of the Agreement were not disclosed. "We are delighted to enter into this license agreement with Transgene, one of the leading companies developing this new class of immunotherapeutic products" said Dr. David J. Beames, Virax CEO. "The agreement with Transgene is an important milestone in the development of this novel class of products and helps both companies move toward the goal of bringing immunotherapeutics to world markets." About Co-X-Gene(TM) technology Co-X-Gene(TM) technology is a patented technology discovered at the Australian National University and licensed exclusively to Virax for human health applications. Virax is developing several immunotherapeutic products that use Co-X-Gene(TM) technology, including VIR201, a novel immunotherapeutic for treating HIV infection. Virax has completed Phase I/IIa trials with VIR201 and is currently seeking additional funding to take this product into larger international Phase II trials in USA/Europe/Australia. About Immunotherapeutics Immunotherapy is a novel approach to treating life-threatening diseases. It works by directing immune system responses against highly specific targets such as virally-infected cells or cancer cells. At present, immunotherapeutic products are in various stages of clinical testing to treat a wide variety of tumors and chronic infections. Clinical trial results indicate that the immunotherapeutic approach may have potential where other forms of conventional treatment have failed or have undesirable long term side effects. About Virax Virax, based in Melbourne, Australia, is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel immunotherapeutic products for the treatment of cancer, and chronic infectious diseases. The Company's lead product, VIR201, an HIV/AIDS immunotherapeutic (therapeutic vaccine) recently cleared by the U.S. FDA to begin Phase II trials, has completed two successful clinical trials in Australia with additional, international studies planned. The Company has also submitted an application to the South African regulatory authority (MCC) to conduct a Phase I/IIa trial of VIR201. Funding for the trial has been contributed by a consortium of global and South African resource companies led by BHP Billiton. Virax's second product in development, VIR501, is an immunotherapeutic for the treatment of late stage hormone refractory prostate cancer. The Company has commenced GMP production and is intending to commence Phase I/II trials in Australia in mid 2008 subject to available funding. Virax has announced its intention to seek a listing on the UK AIM exchange in 2007 and is currently developing this option with its UK-based advisers. Funds Virax may raise in conjunction with an AIM listing would as a first priority be used to support its ongoing VIR201 clinical development program. For further information about Virax please visit http://www.virax.com.au About Transgene Transgene is a France-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of therapeutic vaccines and immunotherapeutic products in oncology and infectious diseases. The Company has three compounds in Phase II trials and one compound in Phase I studies. Transgene has bio-manufacturing production capacities for viral-based vectors and technologies available for outlicensing. For further information about Transgene, please visit http://www.transgene.fr.