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Hansa Medical and Inverness Medical Innovations launch partnership agreement for the development of biopharmaceuticals to treat rheumatoid arthritis

22 Jun 2009, 08:00
Regulatory information
Hansa Medical AB (NASDAQ OMX First North: HMED) and the US company Inverness Medical Innovations Inc. (NYSE: IMA) have initiated an exclusive and global partnership and license agreement to develop and commercialize monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Through the collaboration agreement, Hansa Medical and Inverness Medical Innovations will jointly identify and develop monoclonal antibodies for Hansa Medical’s patented drug target, the alpha-11 integrin. Novel candidate drugs will be generated at Inverness Medical Innovation’s unit for antibody development, Biosite Discovery. Biosite’s well-established antibody technology, Omniclonal®, generates antibodies with high affinity and low cross-reactivity.“Initiating a collaboration agreement with a well-established antibody company has been our top priority for this promising drug target, and we are pleased and optimistic about our cooperation with Inverness Medical Innovations. Not only will this agreement provide the project with access to a well-established antibody technology, but we have also secured a project development partner that will invest significant resources in this project. This will better enable Hansa Medical to pursue the project for a longer period before it is fully licensed to a third party, which we consider optimal for Hansa Medical’s shareholders,” says Hansa Medical’s CEO, Emanuel Björne.The market for biopharmaceuticals to treat rheumatoid arthritis is dominated by the successful TNF blockers. The global market for these compounds is estimated at about USD 15 billion. Despite the decisive success of the TNF blockers, the need for new RA drugs is considerable. TNF blockers are associated with side effects and achieve only a limited effect for many RA patients. Preclinical studies have shown that anti-alpha-11 treatment has a better and more specific effect than TNF blockers.The primary objective of this partnership is to identify a candidate drug that can be placed in clinical development. Inverness Medical Innovations will compensate Hansa Medical with milestone payments when the preclinical development goals are achieved under the partnership. Hansa Medical will thereafter apply to license this candidate drug to a large biopharmaceutical company with an established market presence. Future licensing revenues will be divided between Hansa Medical and Inverness Medical Innovations in proportion to each company’s costs for the project.For more information, please contact:Hansa Medical ABEmanuel Björne, CEOTelephone: +46 707 17 54 77E-mail: Inverness Medical Innovations Inc.Ferran Prat, Vice President OncologyTelephone: +1 858 354 66 22E-mail: