Microbix Further Strengthens Patent Position for LumiSort™ -- its Livestock Semen Sexing Technology
TORONTO, Feb. 16 /CNW/ - Microbix Biosystems Inc. (TSX: MBX), a biotechnology company commercializing novel technologies for livestock semen sexing, and other innovative biologics, today reported it has filed new patent applications related to the continuing development of LumiSort™, Microbix' proprietary technology that will enable livestock breeders to pre-determine the sex of their herd prior to conception. These filings represent significant new intellectual property arising from the ongoing engineering work to deliver Microbix' proprietary LumiSort™ semen sorting technology to the livestock market in 2012.
The new intellectual property protects a significant evolution of the LumiSort concept, with improvements that will both simplify and further reduce the cost of the construction of LumiSort units, while increasing the speed and efficiency of operation. LumiSort™ is an attractive initiative for Microbix both because there are no regulatory barriers to global markets, and because of an aggressive intellectual property strategy that Microbix anticipates will result in significant intellectual property protection. Microbix expects LumiSort will significantly increase livestock fertility rates compared with conventional sexing technology making the dairy and cattle industries more efficient and improving producers' margins. Additionally, the technology has the potential to more than double the yield of sexed semen straws after processing, making LumiSort far more economical, leading to wider usage in the marketplace.
Prior to market introduction, Microbix has established agreements for LumiSort with companies located in the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, South America, and China representing more than 35% of the dairy semen collection centers and will enter a global animal health market for artificial insemination valued at more than $2.5 billion. All agreements include the same royalty payment to Microbix of 15% of selling price.
In 2010 Microbix announced two partnerships including one with an engineering firm focused on the development of the technology and the other with one of the largest suppliers of livestock reproduction products in the world. The second firm has taken an equity position in the program through a milestone based, $2 million investment, and will leverage their 2-year, regionally exclusive license to rapidly deploy LumiSort into their markets generating revenues enabling subsequent global expansion.
William Gastle, Microbix CEO, said, "These new developments stem directly from investments we've made not only to engineer and deliver the LumiSort instrument, but also to understand and solve the fundamental problems underlying the sex-specific identification and separation of cells. By maintaining a broad view of the science and technology and continuing a program of development, we will bring the next generation of semen sexing technology to livestock producers."
About Microbix' LumiSort™
LumiSort is a proprietary instrument and technology that will improve the yield and quality of sexed semen by a significant margin over methods used in the livestock industry today. It incorporates a novel and innovative instrument design to address fundamental problems with existing commercial sex selection technologies, while providing Microbix with a strong and well differentiated intellectual property advantage in the industry. Microbix expects to introduce LumiSort to the dairy and beef livestock management markets before the end of 2012. The technology will not only provide a much higher quality product leading to higher conception rates, but is also expected to improve significantly the sexed semen production yield.
About Microbix Biosystems
Microbix Biosystems Inc. specializes in the development of the most advanced vaccine production technology and markets virology and biological products worldwide. Microbix, in partner with the Hunan government in China, is building Asia's largest and most advanced vaccine facility. In addition, The Company has intellectual property in large market biotherapeutic drugs, vaccine technologies and animal reproduction technologies. Microbix supplies customers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Established in 1988, Microbix is headquartered in Toronto.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements including the risks associated with commercializing the technologies, including sales which may not reach sales targets or be made at all, there is no guarantee that the Company will complete development of any technology and if it does that it will perform to commercially exploitable levels, other technologies may emerge before any technology developed by the Company enters the market, royalty rates may not be achievable, markets may not sustain demand for any product should world economies shift significantly, market utilization rates may not be reached, market value of products may vary, product launch dates and market utilization timetables may not be met; risks associated with the ability to license Lumisort to industry; risks associated with failure to develop and commercialize Lumisort; non-adoption of Lumisort; competition in the animal health and related markets; reliance by Microbix on third parties for the development and manufacture of Lumisort instrument; general economic conditions; intellectual property risks including challenges to protecting the Company's intellectual property rights, patents may not provide adequate protection of the Company's intellectual property, may not be successfully prosecuted and may be subject to challenge and risks of infringement of third party rights; risks of operating in foreign jurisdictions, including operating in countries with evolving legal and economic infrastructure; high rates of inflation; changes in taxation policies, and Microbix' ability to attract and retain qualified employees and management. These forward-looking statements represent the Company's judgment as of the date of this press release. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.For further information:
Visit www.microbix.com or contact: William J. Gastle, CEO, (416) 234-1624 x 230; or James Long, CFO, (416) 234-1624 x 265.