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Biosignal (ASX:BOS)and the Institute for Eye Research Ltd (IER) report that interim results from recent in vitro trials of contact lenses with permanently attached furanones have generated striking results of up to 100% anti-bacterial efficacy. The critical milestone prior to entering human trials with contact lenses is to demonstrate that contact lenses with permanently attached furanones are likely to be anti-bacterial and safe.

On the 24th of May Biosignal reported that furanone-soaked lenses prevent bacterial attachment by up to 70 percent. For the first time, it has now been shown that these results can be further improved when Biosignal's furanones are permanently attached to contact lenses.

"This outcome is extremely attractive to the competitive contact lens market, which has a preference for a permanently attached active. This method is more likely to provide longer life anti-bacterial efficacy with a shortened product registration process," said Michael Oredsson, CEO and managing director of Biosignal.

The two key pathogens in bacterial eye infections are Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus and specific results in 24 hour trials show up to 85 percent efficacy vs. control against P aeruginosa and up to 100 percent efficacy vs. control against S aureus.

In addition, Biosignal has conducted separate trials on Pseudomonas aeruginosa over seven days with furanones permanently attached to glass slides. These trials show that the permanent furanone coating retains an anti-bacterial efficacy rate of over 90 percent vs. control after a week.

This is a very important finding since the rapidly growing extended wear contact lenses is a particularly important target market.

"We are very encouraged by these interim results from the ongoing trials" said Prof Mark Willcox, a senior consultant to the IER. "IER and Biosignal are currently testing a range of furanones and attachment strategies in vitro and expect to enter our first small human trial in the first half of 2005".

The results on contact lenses and glass slides are also relevant to a broad range of other types of products such as catheters and orthopaedic devices where bacterial contamination is currently causing problems and where permanently attached furanones are a potential solution

About Biosignal and furanone technology

Biosignal listed on the ASX in April 2004 to commercialize a novel anti-bacterial technology. The first applications are reducing risks of infection from contact lenses and treating aquaculture equipment as an effective and environmentally friendly anti-fouling.

Furanones are based on a discovery that the eastern Australian seaweed Delisea pulchra produces natural furanones that disable bacteria's ability to colonise. The fundamental problem with existing anti-bacterials, including antibiotics, is their tendency to generate bacterial resistance. Bacteria rapidly produce resistant strains when faced with strong selective pressure by killing agents or growth-inhibitory agents. Furanones lull bacteria to inaction and appear to avoid the problem of bacterial resistance.

Biosignal produces synthetic furanones effective on inanimate surfaces such as pipes, ship hulls, membranes and medical devices; and animate surfaces such as lungs, skin and teeth.

About the Institute for Eye Research:

The Institute for Eye Research is one of the elite Medical Research Institute's in Australia. Located in New South Wales, the Institute focuses exclusively on excellence in eye and vision research through investment in people, systems and innovation.

The Institute makes significant contributions to national and international eyecare research, education and business development and is involved in a wide range of vision projects. These are centred on four key areas:

* Management, prevention or cure of refractive errors

* Management, prevention or cure of infection and inflammation of the cornea

* Vision and eyecare education

* Public health support through ICEE Giving Sight

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Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Date:Nov 1, 2004

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