Biopump to treat haemophilia

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Medgenics has signed a preclinical development and option agreement with a major international biopharmaceutical company to commercialise its Biopump technology platform.

Biopump is a tissue-based technology that is inserted under the skin to replace daily injections and provide sustained protein delivery for people suffering from chronic diseases.

The agreement, worth up to $7m (£4.3m), will include funding for the preclinical development of Medgenics' Biopump to produce and a deliver clotting protein for the treatment of haemophilia.

This is a new application of the Biopump tissue protein therapeutic platform, which has previously demonstrated successful production of erythropoietin in treating renal anemia and interferon alpha for use in treating hepatitis C.

Medgenics is expected to receive $4m to work exclusively with its partner for one year to develop Biopump, with additional payments of $3m payable upon Medgenics meeting certain technical requirements.

Dr Andrew Pearlman, chief executive of Medgenics, said: ‘We are very excited to have reached this key milestone toward commercialisation of our technology. The fact that this agreement is for a new therapeutic application of our Biopump demonstrates the versatility of our platform technology.

‘It further validates the belief that our platform can be applied to help treat many chronic diseases and will attract further interest from other major partners. The fact that a market leader in haemophilia has entered such an agreement at this early stage testifies to the promise of the Biopump technology for use in treating haemophilia.

‘It reflects our mutual expectation that this feasibility programme will be successful and will lead to a definitive agreement to complete the development and to commercialise this unique and exciting new therapeutic option that could make a major difference in the lives of haemophilic patients.’

He added: ‘While this first agreement is directed to the treatment of haemophilia, Medgenics is continuing its discussions with other potential partners with a view to signing additional agreements for other indications using different therapeutic proteins.’