ProMetic announces scale-up of prion removal resin in plasma product for biopharmaceutical use



    
    - First phase of development of product to reduce risk of variant
      Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease from plasma product completed on schedule
    - Scale-up phase worth $ 1 M to ProMetic
    - Multi-million dollar long-term agreement to supply prion removal
      affinity resin following regulatory approval anticipated by mid-2008
    

    MONTREAL and CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom, Jan. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic
Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI) ("ProMetic") announces that its UK-based
subsidiary, ProMetic BioSciences Ltd ("PBL"), has successfully completed the
first phases of development utilizing Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic
Technologies Inc.'s ("PRDT") ligand technology for prion binding and removal
from a plasma product for biopharmaceutical use marketed by a major European
plasma fractionator. The program, which is progressing on schedule with
expected completion of the scale-up phase in June 2008, is worth approximately
$ 1 M to ProMetic. This will be followed by a multi-million dollar long-term
supply agreement for the prion reduction resin. The supply agreement is in
final stage of negotiation and commercial quantities of resin supply could
commence as soon as mid-2008, assuming regulatory approval of the product.
    The incorporation in this new application of PRDT's proprietary ligand
technology, which is licensed exclusively to PBL, ensures the removal of any
abnormal prion proteins that may be present in donated plasma. This additional
process will add another level of safety to the already established treatment
protocols and is particularly relevant since there is no commercially
available diagnostic test for detection of the blood-borne form of the variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease ("vCJD") agent.
    "We have now demonstrated that the use of the prion reduction technology
in process applications is practical," stated Dr. Peter Edwardson,
Vice-President, Medical Technologies of ProMetic. "We have already commenced
scale-up at our plant on Isle of Man and will remain on target for completion
of the final phase of the development program in June 2008."
    The PRDT prion removal technology is presently being used in the
P-Capt (R) prion filter, CE marked in September 2006, and marketed by
MacoPharma for the elimination of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies
("TSEs") such as vCJD in red blood cell concentrates.
    "ProMetic is extremely excited about the progress of this product. This
new use represents an extension of the PRDT prion capture technology platform
into the plasma and plasma fractionation industry and we trust this will
culminate in introduction of our first prion reduction product for the
biopharmaceutical industry in 2008," commented Pierre Laurin, President and
Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic.

    Notes for Editors

    About Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

    Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease ("vCJD") is characterized by the
accumulation of large deposits in the brain and the nervous system of the
misfolded prion protein. The resulting damage causes sponge-like holes to
appear in the brain causing a fatal degenerative CNS disorder. Such abnormal
prion proteins may be sufficient to transmit the disease. It is now thought
that all the population is susceptible to vCJD, irrespective of genetic
make-up. vCJD was initially transmitted to humans by the consumption of BSE
contaminated meat, but a secondary route of transmission by the transfusion of
blood units from asymptomatic vCJD individuals threatens to increase the
prevalence of the fatal disease. Although the first incidence of vCJD appears
to have peaked, scientists still remain concerned over the potential of a
second longer incubation and bigger peak and caution vigilance. Recent
scientific research estimates that there are 3,800 asymptomatic vCJD carriers
in the UK at a minimum and the 2006 National CJD Surveillance Unit report
stated that "the incidence of vCJD may increase again, particularly if
different genetic subgroups are found but with longer incubation periods".

    About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

    ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") (www.prometic.com) is a
biopharmaceutical company specialized in the research, development,
manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications derived from
its proprietary Mimetic Ligand(TM) technology. This technology is used in
large-scale purification of biologics and the elimination of pathogens.
ProMetic is also active in therapeutic drug development with the mission to
bring to market effective, innovative, lower cost, less toxic products for the
treatment of hematology and cancer. Its drug discovery platform is focused on
replacing complex, expensive proteins with synthetic "drug-like" protein
mimetics. Headquartered in Montréal (Canada), ProMetic has R&D facilities in
the U.K., the U.S. and Canada, manufacturing facilities in the U.K. and
business development activities in the US, Europe, Asia and in the
Middle-East.

    About ProMetic BioSciences Ltd

    Using its unique and proprietary Mimetic Ligand(TM) technology, ProMetic
BioSciences Ltd ("PBL") specializes in the development and manufacture of
robust affinity separation materials which provide very high levels of
purification. This is achieved by use of small chemical affinity ligands
designed to bind a target biomolecule specifically and reversibly. In view of
their use for the production of therapeutics, ProMetic's affinity products are
manufactured to strict quality standards at PBL's GMP-compliant manufacturing
facility on the Isle of Man, which completed a (pnds stlg)1.5 million
expansion in 2005. PBL also operates an R&D laboratory located on the
Cambridge Science Park, UK.

    About Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc.

    Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. ("PRDT") is a joint
venture established in April 2002 by The American Red Cross and ProMetic Life
Sciences Inc., and allows for the exchange of technology and knowledge between
the two organizations. PRDT's main goal is to develop products and devices to
remove and detect different pathogens from biological sources. This research
augments work that ProMetic, the American Red Cross and PRDT's scientific
founders have been conducting independently for many years.

    Forward Looking Statements

    This press release contains forward-looking statements about ProMetic's
objectives, strategies and businesses that involve risks and uncertainties.
These statements are "forward-looking" because they are based on our current
expectations about the markets we operate in and on various estimates and
assumptions. Actual events or results may differ materially from those
anticipated in these forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks
affect our business, or if our estimates or assumptions turn out to be
inaccurate. Such risks and assumptions include, but are not limited to,
ProMetic's ability to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialize
value-added pharmaceutical products, the availability of funds and resources
to pursue R&D projects, the successful and timely completion of clinical
studies, the ability of ProMetic to take advantage of business opportunities
in the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties related to the regulatory
process and general changes in economic conditions. You will find a more
detailed assessment of the risks that could cause actual events or results to
materially differ from our current expectations on page 21 of ProMetic's
Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2006, under the
heading "Risk Factors". As a result, we cannot guarantee that any
forward-looking statement will materialize. We assume no obligation to update
any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a
result of future events or for any other reason, unless required by applicable
securities laws and regulations.




For further information:

For further information: Company Inquiries: Pierre Laurin, President and
CEO, ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., (514) 341-2115, p.laurin@prometic.com; Peter
Edwardson, PRDT Program Director & Vice-President, Medical Technologies,
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., +44.1223.420.300,
pedwardson@prometicbiosciences.com; Anne Leduc, Manager, Communications,
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., (514) 341-2115, a.leduc@prometic.com; Dominic
Sicotte, Echoes Financial Network Inc., (514) 842-9551,
dsicotte@echoesfinancial.com; Investor Relations: Bruce Voss,
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, (310) 691-7100, BVoss@lhai.com; Kim Golodetz,
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, (212) 838-3777, KGolodetz@lhai.com; Media
Relations: Jules Abraham, Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates, (212) 838-3777,
JAbraham@lhai.com

Organization Profile

PROMETIC LIFE SCIENCES INC.

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PATHOGEN REMOVAL AND DIAGNOSTIC TECHNOLOGIES INC.

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