MONTREAL, June 14 /CNW Telbec/ Haemacure Corporation (TSX : HAE), a
Montreal-based specialty biotherapeutics company, today announced the
preliminary findings of the content analysis of one of its plasma discards.
Preliminary findings confirm the presence of a number of proteins and
enzymes with applications in significant worldwide markets, including albumin,
plasminogen, immunoglobulin and A1PI.
These findings take on a strategic significance for Haemacure as revenues
eventually generated from the commercial exploitation of these proteins and
enzymes will constitute a direct contribution to the bottom line. This is
because the cost of the plasma will be fully borne by Haemacure's fibrin
sealant and hemostatic agent once these products will be commercialized.
"We are very excited with the positive outcome of the content analysis of
one of our plasma discards," said Joseph Galli, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of Haemacure. "This is the first tangible result of our new
biotherapeutics orientation that we announced at our recent meeting of
shareholders. The identification of these proteins and enzymes indicates that
our patented plasma protein extraction technology yields significant potential
benefits superior to the traditional extraction technology. With these results
in hand, and further to interest expressed by third parties in our plasma
discard, we will drive towards implementing our business development strategy
that encompasses partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology
companies." concluded Mr. Galli.
Haemacure plans on harvesting albumin from this discard and using it in
the production of its fibrin sealant, representing annual cost savings
estimated at more than US$500,000 at full production plant capacity. Some
albumin extracted could also be available for commercialization.
According to the Marketing Research Bureau, the world plasma-derived
protein market is estimated to reach US$8.5 billion by 2010. The North
American market was estimated at US$2.4 billion in 2006. Immunoglobulin is the
biggest selling protein in North America, with sales estimated at
US$1.4 billion in 2006 in the United States alone. Immunoglobulin is used to
treat immunological, neurological and other disorders. Plasminogen, once
converted into plasmin, is a clot buster and offers a natural alternative to
synthesized solutions to address an unmet need of the market. A1PI is used by
patients suffering from hereditary emphysema resulting from A1PI deficiency.
A1PI deficiency affects between 60,000 to 100,000 people in the United States.
According to Cowen and Company, enzyme replacement therapies (ERTs) will
reach US$3.1B in 2011. ERTs are the cornerstone of treatment of many orphan
disorders, particularly the lysosomal storage diseases. Orphan diseases are
comprised of number different conditions that each afflict only a small number
of individuals, but together constitute one of the most lucrative therapeutic
areas. The four leading lysosomal disorder products are intended to treat
Gaucher's disease, Fabry's disease, Hurler's disease and Pompe's disease.
In 2006, estimated sales for these four leading lysosomal disorder
products were US$1 billion, US$359 million, US$96 million and US$30 million
respectively, nearly US$1.5 billion in total. Haemacure has identified in its
plasma discard enzymes each treating one of these diseases. The enzymes are
alpha-galactosidase, used to treat Fabry's disease, alpha-glucosidase, used to
treat Pompe's disease, beta-glucosidase, used to treat Gaucher's disease, and
alpha-iduronidase, used to treat Hurler's disease.
Haemacure has also identified three other enzymes, used to treat Hunter's
disease, Morquio's disease and Shindler's disease. Products are also in
development for these diseases.
As advised, these findings are preliminary and the full value of these
proteins and enzymes cannot be realized without FDA approval. Haemacure will
continue identification work on its plasma discard and seek partnerships with
pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that would fund the development and
clinical activities required to bring these proteins and enzymes to market and
with which it would share sales revenues.
Haemacure Corporation is a specialty biotherapeutics company focused on
developing and commercializing premium human therapeutic proteins. Haemacure
utilizes its proprietary plasma protein extraction technology to develop next
generation products, including hemostats for surgical use. Haemacure's lead
product candidate, Hemaseel(TM)HMN, an all-human fibrin sealant, is in late
stage clinical development for biosurgical applications. The second product,
an all-human thrombin, a component of fibrin sealant, also has applications as
a stand-alone product in the expanding biosurgical market. Follow-on
development will focus on biomaterial combinations and drug delivery in select
therapeutic areas. Haemacure will develop partnerships to advance specialty
proteins that it has recently identified in its plasma-derived intermediates
to address the unmet medical needs of patients. Haemacure also operates
offices in Sarasota, Florida through a wholly-owned subsidiary. The
Corporation is traded under stock symbol HAE on the TSX.
Certain of the statements contained in this news release are
forward-looking statements. Such statements, based as they are on the current
expectations of management, inherently involve numerous risks and
uncertainties, known and unknown. Some examples of known risks are: the impact
of general economic conditions, general conditions in the biotech industry,
changes in the regulatory environment in the jurisdictions in which Haemacure
Corporation does business, stock market volatility, fluctuations in costs, and
changes to the competitive environment due to consolidation or otherwise.
Consequently, actual future results may differ materially from the anticipated
results expressed in the forward-looking statements. Haemacure Corporation
disclaims any intention or obligation to update these statements.
For further information:
For further information: Joseph Galli, Chairman and CEO, Haemacure
Corporation, (514) 990-7074; Gilles Lemieux, Investor Relations, Haemacure
Corporation, (514) 282-3350 ext. 22, Cel: 514-968-1382