DULUTH, Ga., Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Merial, a world leading animal health company, and the Australian company Imugene have signed a comprehensive agreement allowing Merial to obtain exclusive rights to Imugene vector technology. Under the Strategic Alliance, Merial will progress candidates through the product development process to global sales. Additional vaccine candidates will be evaluated for proof of concept and, if successful, will also progress into the product development process.
The Strategic Alliance commences December 31st, 2008. Imugene has received an initial payment for future research and the reimbursement of past research fees.
The terms of the Strategic Alliance include the Poultry Productivity Enhancer previously sublicensed to Merial. This vaccine candidate will now be progressed with other FAV (Fowl Adeno Virus) and PAV (Porcine Adeno Virus) vectored vaccine candidates already researched by Imugene and additional vaccine candidates to be disclosed by Merial.
Commenting on the successful conclusion of the exclusive strategic alliance negotiations, Imugene Managing Director Dr. Warwick Lamb said, "The results from our recent trials and vaccine development activities have been significant and have led to the alliance arrangements with one of the world's leading animal health companies. Merial and Imugene will now collaborate over the coming years to develop of a suite of vaccines for worldwide sales."
"We are very pleased to enter this new phase of our relationship with Imugene," said Bob Nordgren, Global Head of Merial Biologicals. "This exclusive strategic alliance and licensing agreement gives Merial access to important technology for our innovation of new approaches that could allow our veterinarian customers innovative means for managing important, poorly controlled diseases of swine and poultry. Our relationship dates back to the very beginning of Imugene as a company, and we are confident that Imugene's adenoviral vectors have significant commercial potential for driving the development of important new products in animal health."
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 more than 5,400 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2007 sales were nearly $2.5 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see www.merial.com
Imugene Limited (ASX Code: IMU) specialises in the development and commercialisation of novel animal health products for pigs and poultry. Founded in 2002, Imugene has a stable specialist management and scientific team supplemented with extensive use of specialist consultants and contracted trial facilities in the USA and Australia.
Imugene's range of products under development includes vaccines to prevent important livestock diseases and productivity enhancers to improve the economics of raising commercial livestock. These biologically-based vaccines improve the health and welfare of pigs and poultry and reduce or eliminate the use of antibiotics, chemicals and drugs.
Imugene owns the worldwide rights to the Fowl Adenoviral Vector Delivery System for poultry and the Porcine Adenoviral Vector Delivery System for pigs.
For more information please visit the Imugene website www.imugene.com
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