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Implicit Awarded US $16.3 Million U.S. Government Contract to Develop Immunomodulatory Drug for Biodefense Threats

BRISBANE, Australia and SEATTLE, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Implicit Bioscience announced today that it has been awarded a US$16.34 million (AU$18.2million) contract payable over 37 months from the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to develop its clinical stage drug oglufanide disodium as a broad spectrum therapeutic for the treatment of a number of intracellularbacterial diseases.

Among these diseases is melioidosis which is the most common cause of death from bacterial pneumonia in Australia's Northern Territory and is endemic in South East Asia. The agent causing this disease is found in the soil of Australia's Top End, and is considered by US federal agencies to be a high priority threat to national security because it can be weaponized and results in high mortality rates. Researchers within the Infectious Diseases and Immunopathogenesis Research Group at Queensland's James Cook University working with Implicit scientists recently investigated the ability of oglufanide to protect against melioidosis in an animal model.

"With two clinical trials using oglufanide in hepatitis C patients in Brisbane and Melbourne already well underway, we are delighted to be able to contribute to international strategic security efforts, while sharing the cost of some common development tasks for our drug with the US government," said Garry Redlich, Implicit's CEO. "Contracts such as this serve to leverage our shareholder funds, while potentially providing the near term protection to front-line responders in a biothreat emergency."

As well as managing teams of researchers and clinicians in Brisbane, Implicit will subcontract academic, commercial and US military groups in Canada and the USA. The contract was awarded through the DTRA 2007 Transformational Medical Technologies Initiative (TMTI) program, whose mission is to protect the warfighter from conventional or genetically engineered biological threats, known or emergent, by accelerating the seamless discovery and development of broad spectrum medical countermeasures through the use of novel technology platforms and innovative management approaches.

About Implicit Bioscience

Implicit Bioscience is a privately-funded development stage biopharmaceutical company with operations in Brisbane, Australia and Seattle, Washington. The company has major strengths in immunology, peptide chemistry and drug development, and is focused on the identification and development of new therapies for infectious disease. Its Chief Scientific Officer, Ian Frazer, was named 2006 Australian of the Year for his work in developing a vaccine for human papillomavirus. Implicit is pleased to acknowledge the support of Queensland government's teQstart Pty Ltd, which provides key early-stage investment for the state's high technology and biotechnology companies.

SOURCE Implicit Bioscience
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