LAVAL, QC, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - BELLUS Health Inc. (TSX: BLU) ("BELLUS Health" or the "Company") today announced that it had received a $650,000 payment from Advanced Orthomolecular Research (AOR). This payment relates to the achievement of a pre-established milestone set when AOR acquired BELLUS Health's wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary OVOS Natural Health Inc. in January 2011.
"Over the next few years, BELLUS Health has the opportunity to earn more than $8 million in regulatory and commercial milestone payments based on the five VIVIMIND™ distribution partnerships signed to date," said Roberto Bellini, President and Chief Executive Officer of BELLUS Health. "Combined with upfront and pre-agreed minimum payments estimated in excess of $2 million thus far, the financial impact of these arrangements is substantial. Our strategy for VIVIMIND™ is to continue building a substantial cashflow positive business through strategic distribution partners while we also focus our efforts on progressing and expanding our pharmaceutical development portfolio."
In January 2011, BELLUS Health and AOR entered into a share purchase agreement with respect to OVOS Natural Health Inc. Concurrently, the companies entered into a Canadian license and supply agreement ("License and Supply Agreement") relating to BELLUS Health's product VIVIMIND™. Pursuant to the License and Supply Agreement, BELLUS Health granted AOR exclusive distribution rights for VIVIMIND™ in Canada and agreed to supply AOR with the product at a pre-agreed transfer price. AOR is responsible for all marketing, distribution and sales activities of VIVIMIND™ in Canada. The License and Supply Agreement also provides for up to $3 million in commercial milestone payments to BELLUS Health should certain mutually agreed upon sales targets be achieved.
VIVIMIND™ is scientifically proven to help support the specific area of the brain known as the hippocampus, a region responsible for memory and learning. The active ingredient of VIVIMIND™, homotaurine, is a naturally occurring amino acid with unique properties found in certain seaweed. VIVIMIND™ is intended to be used in normal aging adults.
VIVIMIND™ was subject to over 15 years of significant scientific research. In a large controlled clinical study, VIVIMIND™ was shown to reduce by 68% the hippocampus volume loss in Alzheimer's disease patients over 18 months.1 Regulatory approvals for the commercial sale of VIVIMIND™ have been obtained in Italy, Spain, Canada and certain countries in the Middle East.
1 Gauthier S. et al, Journal Nutrition Health Aging, 2009; 13 (6): 550-7.
About Advanced Orthomolecular Research (www.aor.ca)
AOR has an established reputation as the most advanced supplement formulator in Canada. AOR consistently puts science-backed vitamin supplements and natural health products into the hands of health practitioners and into the lives of patients, insisting on solid science and real-world outcomes. AOR's portfolio of products includes over 160 vitamin supplements and natural health products.
About BELLUS Health (www.bellushealth.com)
BELLUS Health is a development-focused healthcare company concentrating on products that provide innovative health solutions and address critical unmet medical needs. The Company, in collaboration with its partner, Celtic Therapeutics Inc., is currently advancing its novel drug candidate KIACTA™, through a Phase III trial for the treatment of AA amyloidosis, an orphan indication resulting in renal dysfunction that often rapidly leads to dialysis and eventually death. AA amyloidosis affects approximately 50,000 individuals in the United States, Europe and Japan.
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