Guildford, UK, 26 February 2007: ReNeuron Group plc today announces that it has entered into a revenue-sharing agreement with the international Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research (LICR) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, US, concerning newly-patented research conducted by these institutions on certain gene-based somatic cell expansion technology.
ReNeuron’s entitlement to revenues generated from the commercial exploitation of this technology stems from a pre-existing agreement between ReNeuron and the LICR going back to 1998.
The expansion technology developed at the LICR and Dana-Farber concerns the controlled expansion, or conditional immortalisation, of a range of somatic cells using the SV40 Large T Antigen with a gene variant that renders the cell lines genetically stable and therefore suitable for a range of commercial drug discovery applications.
The cell expansion technology has been patented in all major territories worldwide, and, together with an earlier patent in which ReNeuron also has a commercial interest, was licensed in January 2005 to a subsidiary of the US-based Cambrex Corporation. This subsidiary was recently sold to Lonza as part of the acquisition by Lonza of the Cambrex Bio-Businesses. The licensed rights to the cell expansion technology have consequently been transferred to Lonza as part of this transaction. ReNeuron will receive a share of upfront payments and ongoing royalties emanating from this, and any further, licence deals relating to these patents.
John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer of ReNeuron, said:
“We are pleased to have secured a revenue share over this potentially valuable technology. Although unrelated to ReNeuron’s own c-mycERTAM cell expansion platform, this deal gives us a stake in an alternative, commercial cell-based technology, providing ReNeuron with a further near-term revenue stream.”
Notes to editors
About the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research is the largest international not-for-profit institute dedicated to understanding and controlling cancer. With operations at 43 sites in 15 countries, the scientific network that is LICR quite literally spans the globe. LICR has developed an impressive portfolio of reagents, knowledge, expertise, and intellectual property, and has also assembled the personnel, facilities, and practices necessary to patent, clinically evaluate, license, and thus translate, the most promising aspects of its own laboratory research into cancer therapies.
About the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org) is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centres in the US. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC), designated a comprehensive cancer center by the US National Cancer Institute.
ReNeuron is a leading, UK-based adult stem cell therapy business. It is applying its novel stem cell platform technologies in the development of ground-breaking stem cell therapies to serve significant and unmet or poorly-met clinical needs.
ReNeuron has used its c-mycERTAM technology to generate genetically stable neural stem cell lines. This technology platform has multi-national patent protection and is fully regulated by means of a chemically-induced safety switch. Cell growth can therefore be completely arrested prior to in vivo implantation.
ReNeuron has filed for approval to commence initial clinical studies in the US with its lead ReN001 stem cell therapy for chronic stroke disability. This represents the world’s first such filing concerning a neural stem cell treatment for a major neurological disorder. ReNeuron has also generated pre-clinical efficacy data with its ReN005 stem cell therapy for Huntington’s disease, a genetic and fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects around 1 in 10,000 people. This programme is in pre-clinical development. In addition to its stroke and Huntington’s disease programmes, ReNeuron is developing stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease, Type 1 diabetes and diseases of the retina.
ReNeuron has also leveraged its stem cell technologies into non-therapeutic areas � its ReNcellTM range of cell lines for use in research and in drug discovery applications in the pharmaceutical industry. ReNeuron’s ReNcellTM CX and ReNcellTM VM neural cell lines are marketed worldwide under license by Millipore Corporation.
ReNeuron’s shares are traded on the London AIM market under the symbol RENE.L.
Further information on ReNeuron and its products can be found at www.reneuron.com.
Data sources: UK Stroke Association; American Stroke Association.
John Sinden, Chief Scientific Officer
Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: 44 (0)1483 302 560
Tel: 44 (0)20 7831 3113
The terms �ReNeuron’, �the Company’ or �the Group’ used in this statement refer to ReNeuron Group plc and/or its subsidiary undertakings, depending on the context.