BTA 0.00% 57.0¢ biota holdings limited

announcement - big lift today.

  1. 2,961 Posts.
    Up 3c already on announcement of Flunet JV

    off we go !!!!!!


    HOMEX - Melbourne

    Biota Holdings Limited (ASX:BTA) announced today that it has signed a
    letter of intent with Japanese pharmaceutical company, Sankyo Co, Ltd
    ("Sankyo") covering Biota's second-generation, long-acting influenza
    drugs (FLUNET) and a similar Sankyo compound. The letter of intent
    anticipates an agreement that will see the two companies pooling
    their long-acting influenza drug pipelines and jointly seeking
    development and commercialisation partnerships.

    Sankyo is a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company, and has been
    co-marketing Relenza(TM) with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Japan for
    several years. Sankyo has also developed its own long-acting
    neuraminidase inhibitor (LANI) which is already in human clinical
    trials. Under the proposed agreement, Biota and Sankyo will pool
    their LANI pipelines, cross-license their relevant patents, and share
    equally all future licensing and royalty revenues.

    "This is an important strategic alliance for Biota," said Group CEO,
    Peter Molloy, who noted that discussions have been underway with
    Sankyo for several months. "The agreement effectively accelerates our
    FLUNET program and gives us a major boost in the partnering process.
    It also gives us a potential new source of revenues, bridging our
    marketed products (Relenza and FLU OIA(R)) and our discovery stage

    Once the agreement is finalised, the combined pipeline of the
    Biota-Sankyo alliance will include Sankyo's LANI compound and Biota's
    FLUNET compounds. The Biota compounds are at the predinical stage,
    while the Sankyo compound has successfully completed Phase I studies
    in Europe. Further Phase I work studies may be required, but subject
    to securing a development partner, the Company expects that it could
    enter Phase II trials in 2004. The combined portfolio of LANI
    compounds will be offered to prospective partners as a joint package.

    "We expect it to be an attractive licensing package," said Mr Molloy.
    "It combines a strong patent estate, with a suite of compounds, the
    first of which is already in human trials. Both parties have been
    talking to potential partners about their respective programs. Now we
    will pool those prospects and seek to close a development deal
    quickly." Under the proposed agreement, the companies will jointly
    manage the partnering process, with the intention that all further
    clinical development work would be funded by the licensing partners.

    The letter of intent provides for a 90-day negotiation period, during
    which the companies intend to prepare and execute a detailed

    Media enquiries please contact:
    Tim Duncan Olivia Withers
    Hinton & Associates Hinton & Associates
    Mobile 0408 441 122 Mobile 0421 999 098

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