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Helix BioPharma Corp. and Pence Announce Third Research and Development Partnership.

RICHMOND, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 5, 1997--Helix BioPharma Corp (TSE,VSE:HBP.) Helix BioPharma Corp.'s (TSE/VSE:HBP) strategy of developing alliances with Canadian institutions involved in leading-edge scientific research and technology has once again resulted in Helix achieving a competitive advantage. Helix BioPharma Corp. and The Protein Engineering Network of Centres of Excellence (PENCE) are pleased to announce the completion of a multi-partner research and development agreement. Helix and PENCE have been joined by The University of Alberta, McGill University, The Canadian Microbiology Consortium Inc. and the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network (CBDN) to develop novel Biosensor Diagnostic Technology.

Previous alliances with PENCE have lead to Helix obtaining exclusive world-wide rights to heterodimer technology, which has a number of promising biotechnology applications, and to unique carbohydrate-based anti-infective technology.

Recently, Helix also signed a separate series of agreements with Saskatoon-based PharmaDerm Laboratories for the development, manufacturing and marketing of PharmaDerm's most advanced pharmaceutical products, which utilize its proprietary Dermal Drug Delivery Systems.

These partnerships with universities and research institutions collectively support the long-term strategy aggressively pursued by Helix BioPharma Corp. Helix has now made further steps toward achieving its overall strategic goal of offering a full range of diagnostics, therapeutics, and drug delivery systems.

The current agreements for Biosensor Technology will capitalize on the unique strengths of the organizations involved: PENCE in leading-edge protein engineering, McGill in Biosensor engineering, CBDN in carbohydrate and virotoxin chemistry ("hamburger disease"), and Helix in the research, marketing, and registration of biological products. To ensure successful development of the technology, two of PENCE's postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Heman Chao and Dr. Wah Wong, have applied for NSERC Industrial Research Fellowships. These scientists will continue to work in PENCE laboratories, to be ultimately hired by Helix.

The Network Leader of PENCE, Dr. Robert Hodges, comments that "these new and exciting interactions with industry partners complement PENCE's continuing mandate to train excellent scientists who can easily transfer their skills to industry. This process adds value for all concerned."

Biosensor Technology and its Markets

Biosensor technology is a method of detecting the existence of organisms or chemical compounds in human blood or in other substances by the use of a sensing system or diagnostic "chip". An example of a biosensor is a glucose monitor used by diabetics to detect levels of sugar in the blood. While the medical market for existing biosensor technology is the largest at over 90 percent of total biosensor sales, other applications for this technology exist in the environmental, industrial and military fields. The current world market for biosensors, still in its infancy, is estimated at over U.S. $400 million annually.

Unique Biosensor Platform

Helix BioPharma and its partners will pursue the development of a unique Biosensor Technology focusing on a variety of commercial applications. The Biosensor Technology will utilize a proprietary platform that represents leading-edge science in diagnostic chip technology. This unique Biosensor Technology is expected to achieve greater sensitivity and selectivity than biosensors presently available, and is designed to provide results far more quickly than is capable with existing biosensor or conventional diagnostic technology.

A series of patents for the Biosensor Technology under development by Helix and its partners have been filed in the United States and other countries.

Licensing Rights

Helix BioPharma receives world-wide licensing rights for the Biosensor Technology focusing on several applications, including those for measuring biological and chemical substances in the blood such as toxins, hormones, drugs of abuse, certain pharmaceuticals, and DNA or RNA sequences. Helix's present strategy is to develop the Biosensor Technology to initially target various research applications, followed by applications to detect drugs, hormones, and infectious organisms.

In exchange for its worldwide licensing rights, Helix is required to pay license fees of $100,000 on the commencement date and $50,000 per year for the next two years, plus a final payment of $200,000 upon the earlier of issuance of patents in the U.S. or the first commercial sale of a product using the unique Biosensor Technology. The final payment can be made by combination of cash and shares. The foregoing transaction is subject to regulatory approval. Helix has also committed to contribute over $600,000 in cash and equipment toward research and development of the Biosensor Technology over the next year. PENCE, U of A and McGill will retain a royalty of 5 percent of the net sales revenue generated from the sale of products incorporating the unique Biosensor Technology, with annual minimum royalties due following the first commercial sale.

Helix BioPharma Corp. is an emerging health-care company focused on the development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals and other biomedical technologies. Helix has entered into strategic alliances with PENCE and PharmaDerm Laboratories through which the Company has obtained diagnostic, therapeutic, and drug delivery technologies. Headquartered in Richmond, B.C., the Company has offices across Canada and internationally in Ireland, and is publicly-traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


Terrance G. Owen, Ph.D., M.B.A., President -0- The Toronto and Vancouver Stock Exchanges have not reveiwed and do not accept responsibility for the adequacy of the content of the information contained herein.

CONTACT: Helix BioPharma Corp.

Jason Van Bergen, 604/270-7468

604/270-8208 (FAX)



Barr & Wilcox Group

Sarah Temple, 604/488-1100

604/488-1122 (FAX)

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Aug 5, 1997
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