SAN DIEGO, July 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Vical Incorporated (Nasdaq: VICL) today announced the receipt of a $1.0 million cash payment from its partner, AnGes MG, Inc., reflecting continued progress of its Collategene(TM) angiogenesis program. Vical received an initial upfront payment of $1.0 million under an exclusive license agreement in 2005, and further advancement may lead to additional milestones and royalty payments.
In March 2008, AnGes filed for marketing approval with the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for the use of Collategene(TM) as a treatment for critical limb ischemia (CLI), an advanced form of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and for Buerger's disease. The Collategene(TM) application in Japan is the first for an angiogenesis product based on Vical's patented DNA delivery technology. AnGes MG has partnered with Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. for worldwide development and commercialization of Collategene(TM).
It is estimated that more than 10 million people in the United States have PAD, a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce the blood flow to the limbs. Early symptoms of PAD include transient pain in the legs upon walking, a condition called intermittent claudication, which is caused by ischemia. Approximately 25% of ischemic patients will progress to develop CLI, which is associated with pain at rest and ulcers, and frequently requires amputation. The U.S. healthcare burden associated with amputations is estimated to be greater than $10 billion per year.
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), the angiogenic factor encoded by Collategene(TM), is known to promote the growth of new blood vessels. DNA- based delivery is intended to cause production of HGF locally, at the site of injection, for a finite period sufficient to establish new blood vessels. The resulting angiogenic effect is expected to alleviate ischemic disease, in which narrowed or diseased blood vessels restrict blood flow to tissues. DNA- based delivery of HGF may be effective for people who do not sufficiently respond to conventional drugs, angioplasty, or bypass surgery.
Vical researches and develops biopharmaceutical products based on its patented DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of serious or life-threatening diseases. Potential applications of the company's DNA delivery technology include DNA vaccines for infectious diseases or cancer, in which the expressed protein is an immunogen; cancer immunotherapeutics, in which the expressed protein is an immune system stimulant; and cardiovascular therapies, in which the expressed protein is an angiogenic growth factor. The company is developing certain infectious disease vaccines and cancer therapeutics internally. In addition, the company collaborates with major pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies that give it access to complementary technologies or greater resources. These strategic partnerships provide the company with mutually beneficial opportunities to expand its product pipeline and address significant unmet medical needs. Additional information on Vical is available at http://www.vical.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Forward-looking statements include statements about the potential approval of Collategene(TM), as well as Vical's focus, collaborative partners, and product candidates. Risks and uncertainties include whether Collategene(TM) will be approved in Japan; whether AnGes will successfully expand into U.S. or worldwide markets with Collategene(TM); whether Vical will receive any additional milestone or royalty payments; whether gene therapy will gain regulatory and commercial acceptance; whether an angiogenic effect will alleviate ischemic disease; whether any product candidates under development by Vical or its collaborative partners will be shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials; the timing, nature and cost of clinical trials; whether Vical or its collaborative partners will seek or gain approval to market any other product candidates; whether Vical or its collaborative partners will succeed in marketing any product candidates; and additional risks set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent the company's judgment as of the date of this release. The company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Contact: Alan R. Engbring
SOURCE Vical Incorporated