CRUCELL/MERIAL SIGN LICENSE PACT FOR PER.C6 TECHNOLOGY.
Under the terms of the agreement, Crucell will receive an upfront payment, milestone payments, annual maintenance fees, and royalties on sales of vaccines. Further financial details were not disclosed.
In on-going and close collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Merial will further develop FMD vaccines discovered by ARS. These vaccines would be held in reserve for rapid distribution in the event of an accidental or terrorist-caused FMD outbreak.
Dr. Robert Nordgren, Head of Biologics Research and Development at Merial, said "We are particularly proud to work with Crucell and the United States Department of Agriculture in the development of vaccines that not only enhance animal health, but also improve our country's level of bio-security, and its ability to respond quickly to threats to the agricultural industry. It now becomes essential that we move with speed through this final development process, since possible FMD outbreaks can occur unexpectedly."
Dr. Luis L. Rodriquez, of ARS Plum Island, is Research Leader for the project. "Few effective intervention tools are available today to control FMD outbreaks," he said. "We have long needed an effective alternative to the culling and slaughter of all animals in infected and neighboring premises, which has previously been our only way of dealing with outbreaks. The combination of vaccine and antivirals is a very promising intervention tool for rapidly controlling and minimizing the impact of FMD outbreaks in the United States."
"We consider Merial's choice of PER.C6 as the cell substrate for vaccines against such an important concern as foot-and-mouth disease as further confirmation of the strength of PER.C6 technology for the production of both human and veterinary vaccines," said Jaap Goudsmit, Crucell's chief scientific officer.
FMD affects swine, sheep, cattle, deer and other animals. Experts warn that a single outbreak of FMD could require the destruction of tens of millions of cattle and result in a worldwide ban of U.S. cattle exports for years. This would not only affect the livestock industry, but related economic systems as well, significantly impacting the $1.5 trillion agricultural sector of the U.S. In 2001, the British epidemic cost $15 billion in disposal, compensation, lost trade and tourism.
About Merial Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 6,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2003 sales were in excess of $1.8 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and Aventis, part of the sanofi-aventis Group.
For more information, visit http://www.merial.com or call 678/638-3682.
Crucell N.V. is a biotechnology company focused on developing vaccines and antibodies that prevent and treat infectious diseases, including Ebola, influenza, malaria and West Nile virus. The company's development programs include collaborations with Aventis Pasteur for influenza vaccines, the U.S. National Institutes of Health for Ebola and malaria vaccines, and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and New York University for a malaria vaccine. Crucell's products are based on its innovative PER.C6[R] technology, which offers a safer, more efficient way to produce biopharmaceuticals. The company licenses its PER.C6[R] technology to the biopharmaceutical industry on a mostly non-exclusive basis. Licensees and CMO partners include DSM Biologics, GSK, Centocor/J&J and Merck & Co., Inc. Crucell is headquartered in Leiden, The Netherlands, and is listed on the Euronext and NASDAQ stock exchanges (ticker symbol CRXL).
For more information, visit http://www.crucell.com.
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|Date:||Dec 1, 2004|
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