TORONTO, March 28 /CNW/ - Microbix Biosystems Inc. (TSX:MBX) announced
today that several parties have expressed strong interest in financing the
continuing development of the Company's Urokinase product for use in
dissolving blood clots and cancer therapies.
Microbix expects financing to be in place in 2007. The funds will be used
to conduct clinical trials and proceed to commercialization.
"This interest in Urokinase reflects its value as a platform for a number
of indications we are pursuing," said Company Chairman and CEO William J.
As a thrombolytic, or 'clot-busting' drug, Urokinase has benefited more
than five million patients and has had an excellent safety and
patient-tolerance record. Today, Microbix is the only commercial-scale
manufacturer of this drug.
"The market potential for a new specific Urokinase-based thrombolytic
drug is in excess of $100 million annually. At the same time, the development
risk is relatively low as other similar products have been on the market for
many years," said Mr. Gastle.
Microbix is collaborating with Angiogen LLC in the development of the
oncology therapy that combines Urokinase with a second small molecule drug.
Angiogen holds U.S. patents for the use of Urokinase in oncology.
This combination drug therapy works by cutting off the blood supply to
solid tumours and thereby destroying them. The therapy has already shown
positive results in patients, including some clinical efficacy data. Because
both drugs in the anti-cancer combination are well known and have been
FDA-approved for other indications, and therefore are known to be safe, the
partners expect that this program will be able to move relatively quickly to
The potential market for Urokinase as an oncology drug is over $1 billion
annually. The therapy shows promise for treating colon, prostate and other
solid human cancers.
Microbix' business strategy has been to develop its large-market
products, such as Urokinase, through profits generated in its platform
virology business until external funds are available. "This strategy has
played a large part in positioning Microbix in the Urokinase business," said
Mr. Gastle. "Once financing is completed, we will return to positive cash flow
as the platform business continues to be profitable."
Completion of the financing would be a major accomplishment for Microbix.
Urokinase is the lead product in the Company's pipeline and financing for
clinical trials would be a significant market validation.
"We are making this announcement today to keep the market up to date on
this important program," Mr. Gastle stated.
Microbix specializes in developing proprietary biological technologies
and commercializing them through global partners. The Company has intellectual
property in large market biotherapeutic drugs, vaccine technologies and animal
reproduction technologies. Established in 1988, Microbix is headquartered in
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 failure to complete agreements to finance, develop
and commercialize Urokinase on a timely basis, non-adoption of the drug
combination, resistance to business model for commercialization and
implementation; risks associated with commercializing the technologies; and
risks associated with the efficacy of the drug combination in cancer treatment
and the thrombolytic indication. 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:
For further information: visit www.microbix.com or contact William J.
Gastle, Chairman and CEO, (416) 234-1624 x 230