Mucosis Announces a Strategic Partnership with Changchun Bcht Biotechnology of China and Raises Additional Capital
Groningen, the Netherlands, April 15, 2014 / B3C newswire / - Biotechnology company Mucosis B.V. today announced that it entered into a long-term collaboration and license agreement with China-based Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co (BCHT) and raised EUR 5 million, in a new financing round.
Under the agreement with BCHT, Mucosis will receive an equity investment along with customary payments including royalties in return for a license to its SynGEM® prefusion F vaccine candidate for prevention of RSV and the Mimopath® platform for other disease targets within the People's Republic of China on an exclusive basis and non-exclusively in certain other Asian countries. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co. was established in 2004 and is a 600-person biopharmaceutical enterprise engaging in research, development, production and marketing of vaccines, biologics and peptide drugs. BCHT has a well-established innovative organization led by talented researchers and supported by state-of-the-art facilities. The management team consists of members with broad international background along with extensive experience in China's biopharmaceutical industry.
"We are pleased with BCHT joining a group of investors who share our confidence in the potential of our Mimopath® technology and the proprietary SynGEM® prefusion F RSV vaccine candidate. We believe that our Mimopath® platform combined with BCHT's expertise in vaccine development creates a substantial opportunity in China and other parts of Asia to develop differentiated and medically relevant vaccines", said Thomas Johnston, CEO of Mucosis. "We see this partnership as a further validation of our clinical-stage platform and its potential to combat infectious diseases. Lastly, we are grateful to Link China Pharma Solutions of Cambridge, UK for their invaluable assistance in brokering this deal."
"We are delighted to form this strategic partnership with Mucosis BV to advance the RSV SynGEM® vaccine program and develop other vaccine candidates based on the validated Mimopath® platform technology. I believe this business relationship between our two companies will strengthen our pipeline of new vaccine products." said Dr Kong, President of Changchun BCHT Biotechnology Co.
In addition to BCHT, the financing round was supported by Mucosis's current investors, which include BioGeneration Ventures, MedSciences Capital, NV NOM (Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands), and Utrecht Holdings.
Mucosis B.V. is a clinical-stage Dutch biotechnology company with a proprietary platform technology, Mimopath®, on which it develops novel vaccines using various routes of administration including those that provide additional protection in the mucosa, the site where over 90% of pathogens enter the human body. Mucosis's lead product is SynGEM®, a stabilized prefusion F protein recombinant vaccine to prevent RSV infection in various target groups. In addition, the company has developed PneuGEM®, a vaccine to prevent diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria and FluGEM®, a vaccine to prevent influenza which served as a successful Mimopath® platform proof of concept through human clinical testing.
About Mimopath® technology
The Mimopath® technology is based on Lactococcus lactis, a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) bacterium commonly used in the food industry. Mucosis has developed a robust proprietary technique to formulate the L. lactis bacteria into non-living bacterium-like particles (BLPs) that can be covered with antigens from viral, bacterial, parasitic or tumor origin. BLP-based vaccines are particularly suitable to administer into the nose or mouth, without the need for a needle. Such mucosal vaccines have been shown to raise protective immunity by activation of both the innate and the adaptive immune system.
SynGEM®, Mucosis's lead vaccine candidate which is currently completing preclinical studies, is being developed in cooperation with corporate, governmental and non-governmental partners across the globe. SynGEM® is designed to prevent infections with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which affect over 60 million people worldwide ranging from the very young to the elderly with more than one million hospitalizations and 160,000 deaths annually. The unique RSV prefusion F protein in SynGEM® displays the most valuable epitopes thought to be important for optimal virus neutralization and is suitable for use in different formulations and administration routes to efficiently address various target groups. An RSV vaccine does not yet exist.
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