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Hansa Medical acquires all assets in Cartela AB

15 Jan 2008, 08:00
Regulatory information
Hansa Medical has broadened its project portfolio in the area of inflammatory diseases by acquiring all assets from Cartela i konkurs AB. Cartela has developed antibodies intended primarily for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The purchase consideration amounted to SEK 3.9 M.

The acquisition covered all patents and patent applications, equipment, laboratory equipment, animal models and all biological material that formed the basis of Cartela’s development projects. The research and development work conducted by the company generated an extensive patent portfolio, and approximately SEK 70 million has been invested in Cartela since the company was formed in 2000.“The purchase of Cartela is entirely in line with our plans to develop our operations in the area of biological pharmaceuticals. We have strengthened and broadened our project portfolio and expertise in the field of inflammatory diseases. What is interesting about Cartela’s projects is that they involve an entirely new method of treating rheumatic diseases,” says Hansa Medical’s CEO, Emanuel Björne.Cartela has been conducting research and development into two surface proteins in cartilage cells that play a central role in the formation of new cartilage tissue. In cooperation with BioInvent, the company was engaged in development of antibodies that bind to the proteins in question, integrin α10β1 and integrin α11β1. Various animal studies have shown that the antibodies have a positive effect on the formation of new cartilage tissue and slow the inflammatory process. As a result, the antibodies are expected to effectively mitigate the disease process associated with such joint diseases as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.Hansa Medical plans to immediately build an organization and commence additional development work to strengthen the patent portfolio. Hansa Medical will also resume Cartela’s long-term discussions with potential partners, with the goal of entering into a collaboration agreement prior to year-end.“We consider Cartela’s lead project to be close to achieving an attractive preclinical proof-of-concept and I believe that our competence and research partnerships will enable us to become a strong owner for Cartela. We have a clear understanding of the current status of the company’s projects and how far Hansa Medical will take them. Together with the Board and our partners, we will define our choice of development and financing strategy. We currently have no plans to implement a new share issue,” says Emanuel Björne, CEO of Hansa Medical.Facts about rheumatoid arthritis (RA)Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is primarily characterized by chronic inflammation of the body’s joints. This inflammation can result in the degradation of cartilage and the surrounding bone.Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1 to 2 percent of the population, and the market for treatment is estimated at about USD 10 billion. Today, rheumatoid arthritis is primarily treated with pain-alleviating and anti-inflammatory drugs, and despite the successful launch of new compounds, the need for new treatment alternatives remains substantial.Facts about osteoarthritis (OA)Osteoarthritis causes pain and stiffness in the joints as a result of damage to the articular cartilage. Osteoarthritis results in an imbalance between articular cartilage regeneration and degradation, often caused by long-term, heavy joint load.Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic disease among individuals over the age of 60, with an estimated 10 to 25 percent of this age group suffering from osteoarthritis. In the US alone, osteoarthritis is estimated to cost society USD 33 billion. Today, osteoarthritis is treated with pain-alleviating and anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as surgical operations to replace the damaged joints with prostheses (artificial joints). The need for new treatment alternatives is substantial. The Hansa Medical share has been traded on First North under the ticker symbol HMED since October 17, 2007, and the company’s certified adviser is Kaupthing Bank.For more information, please contact:Emanuel Björne, CEOMobile: +46 707 17 54 77E-mail: Bo Håkansson, Chairman of the BoardMobile: +46 705 98 57 22E-mail: