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Nostrum Pharmaceuticals Obtains Worldwide Licensing Rights From IMTECH for Clinical Development of the Small Molecule Caerulomycin and Its Proprietary Derivatives for Their Novel Indication of Immunosuppression
Date:2/23/2009

EDISON, N.J., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Nostrum Pharmaceuticals, LLC ("Nostrum"), a privately-held company based in Edison, New Jersey, announced today that it has obtained a worldwide license to develop and commercialize Caerulomycin A, and its proprietary derivatives and analogues ("Caerulomycin") for their novel indication of immunosuppression. The license was obtained from Institute of Microbial Technology ("IMTECH"), Chandigarh, India, one of India's preeminent research institutes, governed by the national government's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research ("CSIR").

Nostrum's President and founder, Dr. Nirmal Mulye, Ph.D., expressed his appreciation for the continued efforts by IMTECH and Nostrum's Symmetrix subsidiaries to pursue development of novel biopharmaceutical therapeutic protein drugs, including Caerulomycin and a clot busting protein known as Clot Specific Streptokinase obtained earlier pursuant to license from IMTECH. Dr. Mulye stated that, "our collaborative work with IMTECH in the clinical development of these therapeutic proteins has been ongoing since 2006 and offers a substantial commercial potential for these products in the market worldwide."

Dr. Yatindra Prashar, Ph.D., President and CEO of Nostrum's subsidiary Symmetrix Pharmaceuticals, LLC, based in Edison, NJ, and parent of Singapore-based Symmetrix Biotech Pvt. Ltd. (collectively "Symmetrix"), was principally responsible for reaching the new license agreement with IMTECH. Dr. Prashar emphasized that, "This novel bioactivity of Caerulomycin has shown remarkable promise in immunosuppression of both T-cells and B-cells in both in-vitro experiments and in rodent animal model studies. In addition, preliminary studies carried out by IMTECH also show a lack of toxicity in the rodent experiments. Based on these observations made by IMTECH's scientists, Caerulomycin has a potential to develop into a blockbuster drug to be used to prevent organ transplant rejection and diseases such as certain autoimmune disorders where immunosuppression is the key to the mitigation of the disease symptoms."

Dr. Girish Sahni, Ph.D., Director, IMTECH, added, "Licensing of Caerulomycin to Nostrum is a proud achievement for IMTECH, especially for the scientific teams led by Dr. Javed Agrewala, Ph.D., Dr. R. M. Vohra, Ph.D., Dr. Arvind Singla, Ph.D. and Dr. R. S. Jolly, Ph.D., that developed Caerulomycin over several years of meticulous research which led to the filing of patent applications for the technology. Moreover, this is the second molecule that IMTECH has under license with Nostrum, the first being a novel thrombolytic clot-buster protein known as SMRX11. While SMRX11 was the first patented recombinant DNA based biopharmaceutical molecule licensed to a foreign pharmaceutical company by any institution in India, Caerulomycin is the first small molecule being licensed by IMTECH to a foreign company, and it is a proud achievement for IMTECH and CSIR."

Earlier today in New Delhi, Dr. Mulye and Dr. Sahni signed the licensing agreement at CSIR headquarters at a function that was attended by the Honorable Mr. Kapil Sibal, Minister of Science and Technology, Government of India, and Professor Samir K. Brahmachari, Director General, CSIR. The function was also attended by various dignitaries within the Indian scientific establishment, and the signing event was covered by the press and television media. Terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

Mr. Sibal, the Minister of Science and Technology, acknowledged that the "Caerulomycin agreement was once again a new first whereby IMTECH and CSIR have been able to license for clinical development a small molecule for therapeutic purposes." Mr. Sibal praised and congratulated Dr. Sahni, Director IMTECH and the scientific teams at IMTECH that developed the Caerulomycin compound, and he also congratulated Dr. Mulye and Dr. Prashar for their prior commitment to take forward the collaboration between Nostrum and IMTECH for SMRX11 and expressed confidence that the same commitment would be shown by Nostrum to carry forward this new collaboration on Caerulomycin. He expressed "hope and confidence that Nostrum and its Symmetrix subsidiaries will nurture the Caerulomycin project well and develop it into a blockbuster drug."

Prof. Brahmachari, Director General, CSIR, also congratulated Dr. Mulye and Dr. Sahni for the growing partnership between Nostrum and CSIR and cited the relationship as an outstanding example of public-private partnership that will help an organization like CSIR achieve its basic mandate to carry out research that ultimately benefits mankind. Prof. Brahmachari also complimented the scientific teams at IMTECH for developing the immunosuppressant Caerulomycin molecule.

Nostrum is involved in the development and commercialization of products using novel drug delivery systems for generic and innovative pharmaceutical products in the United States and abroad. Relatedly, Symmetrix's core capability aims at establishing a pipeline of novel, patented biopharmaceutical therapeutic protein drugs by identifying emerging technologies worldwide. Located on a 25 acre campus in Chandigarh, India, IMTECH is a research institute for basic and applied biomedical and microbiological research.


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SOURCE Nostrum Pharmaceuticals, LLC
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