Enhancements in concentration technology increases sensitivity of BSE
detection by as much as 80-fold
CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom and MONTREAL, Jan. 7 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic
Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") (TSX:PLI), announced today that the
incorporation of Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc.'s ("PRDT")
concentration technology to commercially available post mortem diagnostic
tests for bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("BSE") could vastly improve the
sensitivity of these tests by as much as 80-fold.
This improved sensitivity of existing diagnostic devices was achieved by
pre-treating the samples with PRDT's enhanced concentration technology. The
results showed an added level of sensitivity to the BSE detection process,
thereby reducing the risk of "false outcomes" with existing tests. This could
allow for the detection of infectious prions at an earlier phase in the
development of the disease, thus improving the safety of the food industry for
the countries testing for BSE.
PRDT's concentration technology, under development by ProMetic's BSafE
Innovations Inc. division, has demonstrated its compatibility with existing
diagnostic tests for BSE detection as previously confirmed through
comprehensive validation testing. ProMetic's first device using the
concentration technology will take the form of a filter that will amplify the
"infectious prion signal" by concentrating bovine prions from brain tissue.
This stronger signal allows for a more sensitive detection of BSE in cattle
and at a younger age. This is significant because most cattle going to market
are less than 24 months old and current BSE diagnostic tests are unlikely to
identify the disease at that age.
"Our scientists continue to make excellent progress towards the
commercialization of this first device," comments Dr. Peter Edwardson,
Vice-President, Medical Technologies, ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. "We are
extremely encouraged by these recent findings, as they increase our ability to
leverage our prion research and development expertise, adding value to many
currently available diagnostics tests for BSE."
Tests for infectious prions such as BSE are conducted on approximately
13 million out of the 60 million cattle annually in the U.S., Europe and
Japan. The vast majority of these tests are performed in Europe and Japan,
with less than 40,000 tests performed in the U.S.
Mr. Kym Anthony, principal of Top Meadow Farms and Chairman of BSafE
says, "As this technology is developed, we will continue to see a significant
step towards a more reliable tool for improving the safety of our global food
supply. This product should enable us to detect BSE at an earlier stage in its
development and further increase consumer comfort that the products they are
consuming are truly safe. The future continues to be very promising for the
veterinary applications our technology."
About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (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 U.S., Europe, Asia and in the Middle-East.
About BSafE Innovations Inc.
BSafE Innovations Inc. is a business unit of ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.
operated in association with Top Meadow Life Sciences Inc., a subsidiary of
Top Meadow Farms headquartered in Clarksburg, Ontario. BSafE's primary mission
is the continued development and commercialization of a bovine spongiform
encephalopathy ("BSE") diagnostic - a testing device that will detect the
presence of TSE prions (the proteins that carry "mad cow disease" or vCJD
agents) in blood samples taken from live cattle. This BSE diagnostic will be
developed for use by herd owners, governments and health regulators with the
goal of making it the purification standard by which live cattle can be
certified as fit for sale and consumption. BSafE has in-licensed some
veterinary applications of proprietary technologies developed by PRDT. BSafE
relies on the same PRDT platform technology and core competency used to
develop the P-Capt(TM) prion filter which is CE marked and will be
commercially launched in Europe by its partner MacoPharma during 2007.
About Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc.
Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. ("PRDT") is a
joint-venture company set up in April 2002 by The American Red Cross and
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. PRDT allows for a reciprocal exchange of
technology and knowledge developed between the American Red Cross and
ProMetic. 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.
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