MONTREAL, CANADA--(Marketwire - Jan. 16, 2013) - Paladin Labs Inc. (PLB.TO) announced today that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Apeiron Biologics AG for APN311, a novel, antibody-based immunotherapy for children with high-risk neuroblastoma. Under the terms of the agreement, Paladin has been granted the exclusive rights to market and sell APN311 in Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa (including South Africa). Further details or financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Neuroblastoma is a malignant tumor that develops from nerve tissue. While the incidence of neuroblastoma is rare, after brain cancer, it is the most frequent solid cancer in children under five years of age and is the most common form of cancer affecting infants. In high-risk neuroblastoma, more than half of the patients receiving standard therapy have a relapse and ultimately die from the disease. Approximately 50-75 children a year are diagnosed with neuroblastoma in Canada accounting for about 12-15% of pediatric cancer deaths - the lowest survival rate out of all childhood cancers(1).
APN311 is a monoclonal chimeric antibody (ch14.18) produced in CHO cells targeting the GD2 antigen on neuroblastoma cells and is currently undergoing a randomized Phase III in Europe. Furthermore, treatment of advanced neuroblastoma patients with APN311 has demonstrated substantial clinical activity(2).
"APN311 has shown promise in improving survival rates in the treatment of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma," said Mark Beaudet, interim President and CEO of Paladin Labs Inc. "Paladin is proud to be working with Apeiron to make this important new treatment option available to patients in Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa."
"We are very excited to partner with Paladin, one of the leading Canadian specialty pharmaceutical companies, given its experience in rare and orphan diseases as well as its emerging focus in oncology. Paladin is well positioned to make APN311 a success in its territories", said Hans Loibner, President and CEO of Apeiron Biologics.
(1) Neuroblastoma Canada, 2012. (http://neuroblastoma.ca)
(2) Apeiron, data on file.
About APEIRON Biologics AG
Apeiron is a mostly privately financed biotech company in Vienna that develops immunological/biological therapies against cancer. Its portfolio consists of five clinical projects (lead in Phase III) as well as some preclinical approaches. The most advanced project APN311 is an antibody to treat the pediatric cancer neuroblastoma. The recombinant human Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (GSK2586881, previously APN01) was licensed out to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in early 2010 and is currently being investigated by GSK in a phase II trial in patients suffering from acute lung injury. Apeiron started its operations in 2006 and has 23 employees as of today.
About Paladin Labs Inc.
Paladin Labs Inc., headquartered in Montreal, Canada, is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring or in-licensing innovative pharmaceutical products for the Canadian and world markets. With this strategy, a focused national sales team and proven marketing expertise, Paladin has evolved into one of Canada's leading specialty pharmaceutical companies. Paladin's shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PLB. For more information about Paladin, please visit the Company's web site at www.paladinlabs.com.
Forward Looking Statements Related to Paladin
This press release may contain forward-looking statements and predictions. These forward-looking statements, by their nature, necessarily involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. The Company considers the assumptions on which these forward-looking statements are based to be reasonable at the time they were prepared, but cautions that these assumptions regarding the future events, many of which are beyond the control of the Company and its subsidiaries, may ultimately prove to be incorrect. Factors and risks, which could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations, are discussed in the annual report as well as in the Company's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2011. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information or future events and except as required by law. For additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements, investors should consult the Company's ongoing quarterly fillings, annual report and Annual Information Form and other fillings found on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
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Samira Sakhia, M.B.A., CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer