Bioniche Represented at House of Commons Sub-Committee on Food Safety



    
    Company seeking endorsement of programs to reduce the risk of
    E. coli O157 contamination of food and water
    

    BELLEVILLE, ON, May 28 /CNW/ - Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: BNC), a
research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, today
announced that it made representation at the House of Commons Sub-committee on
Food Safety yesterday. This was an opportunity for the Company to create
additional awareness of its on-farm/pre-harvest intervention to reduce the
prevalence of the deadly E. coli O157 bacterium, and to seek further support
for vaccination programs.
    "Bioniche has proposed that a Government of Canada program be established
that encourages adoption of our E. coli O157 cattle vaccine, the only
registered vaccine of its kind in the world," said Rick Culbert, President of
Bioniche Food Safety. "Such an initiative would position Canada as a global
leader in food safety, preserve customer confidence in Canadian agricultural
products and bolster public health."
    The House of Commons Sub-committee on Food Safety was established
following last year's Listeriosis outbreak in Canada. Like Listeriosis, E.
coli O157 can be fatal to humans who become infected. An estimated 100,000
cases of human infection with the E. coli O157:H7 organism are reported each
year in North America. Two to seven per cent of those people develop
haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a disease characterized by kidney failure
(in recent outbreaks, this percentage has risen to as high as 16%). Five
percent of HUS patients die, many of them children and senior citizens, whose
kidneys are more sensitive to damage.
    Cattle are the primary carriers of E. coli O157, but the organism, which
makes people ill, does not have the same effect on cattle. When people come in
contact with contaminated food or water, they can become infected. The
Bioniche E. coli vaccine - trademarked Econiche - has been proven in field
studies to reduce colonization of cows by O157 and to reduce the amount of the
bacteria shed in their manure, thus decreasing the number of bacteria to which
humans may be exposed.
    On-farm interventions to reduce the shedding of E. coli O157 by cattle,
such as vaccination of cattle with Econiche, have the potential to reduce food
and water contamination and the consequences associated with human infection
with the deadly bacteria. Clinical trials conducted with Econiche have shown a
significant reduction in the amount of E. coli shed in the manure of
vaccinated cows.
    It appears to Bioniche that most Canadian cattlemen are willing to
administer the vaccine, but cannot afford to incur the expense of the vaccine
without receiving an offsetting increase in revenue. At the same time, cattle
producers believe that they receive no immediate or direct benefit for
spending money to vaccinate their herds against E. coli O157. Bioniche is
seeking the support of government to provide initial funding to encourage
adoption, given that E. coli O157 poses a serious risk to human health.
    Econiche is manufactured in the Bioniche production facility in
Belleville, Ontario, where a $25-million expansion is taking place, supported
by the Ontario and Canadian governments. Vaccine supply will be limited during
this manufacturing expansion period.

    About Econiche

    Econiche received international recognition in September 2007 by the
Animal Pharm Industry Excellence Awards as the best new veterinary product for
livestock globally. The vaccine has been developed by a strategic alliance
formed in 2000 between the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Alberta
Research Council (ARC), the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine & Infectious
Disease Organization (VIDO), and Bioniche, which holds the rights for
worldwide commercialization of the vaccine. The vaccine prevents the E. coli
O157 bacteria from attaching to the intestines of vaccinated cattle, thereby
reducing their reproduction within the animal, and reducing the amount of
bacteria that can be released through cattle manure in the environment. More
than 30,000 cattle have been involved in clinical testing of the vaccine over
the past six years.
    Several articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals about
Econiche. Two articles were published in the Journal of Food Protection in
November, 2007 related to field challenge studies conducted at the University
of Nebraska-Lincoln involving close to 900 animals in 2002 and 2003. Among the
findings by researchers Dr. David Smith and Dr. Rod Moxley et al: Vaccinating
a majority of cattle within a pen resulted in a significant protective effect
to unvaccinated cattle in the same pen. This effect is called "herd immunity".
Another article was published in the Vol. 5, Number 5, 2008 issue of Foodborne
Pathogens and Disease outlining the outcome of a clinical vaccine trial of
commercially fed cattle that tested the effect of a two-dose regimen of
Econiche against type III secreted proteins of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia
coli (E. coli) O157:H7 on the probability of detecting the organism on
environmental sampling devices. A fourth article appeared in Volume 6, Number
2, 2009 of the Journal of Food Protection (March, 2009) summarizing the
results of a large-scale commercial beef feedlot study with Econiche, whereby
researchers a David R. Smith, Rodney A. Moxley et al concluded that a two-dose
vaccine regimen effectively reduced the probability for E. coli O157:H7
colonization of the terminal rectal mucosa (TRM) of commercially fed cattle at
harvest. In this study, vaccinated cattle were 92% less likely to be colonized
with E. coli O157:H7 than non-vaccinated cattle. This was the second published
study demonstrating more than 90% effectiveness of the Bioniche vaccine
against colonization.

    About Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.

    Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. is a research-based, technology-driven
Canadian biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development,
manufacturing, and marketing of proprietary products for human and animal
health markets worldwide. The fully-integrated company employs approximately
200 skilled personnel and has three operating divisions: Human Health, Animal
Health, and Food Safety. The Company's primary goal is to develop proprietary
cancer therapies supported by revenues from marketed products in human and
animal health. Bioniche has been named one of the Top 50 Best Small and
Medium-Sized Employers in Canada for 2009. For more information, please visit
www.Bioniche.com.

    Except for historical information, this news release may contain
forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current expectation
regarding future events. These forward-looking statements involve risk and
uncertainties, which may cause, but are not limited to, changing market
conditions, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the
establishment of corporate alliances, the impact of competitive products and
pricing, new product development, uncertainties related to the regulatory
approval process, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's
ongoing quarterly and annual reporting.

    %SEDAR: 00013159EF




For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Shea, Vice-President, Communications,
Investor & Government Relations, Bioniche Life Sciences Inc., Telephone: (613)
966-8058, Cell: (613) 391-2097, Jennifer.Shea@Bioniche.com

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