September 23, 2008
Kuros and Aeris Announce Exclusive License Agreement in the Field of Lung Volume Reduction
Kuros Biosurgery AG and Aeris Therapeutics, Inc., both privately held biotech companies, announced today that Kuros has granted Aeris an exclusive license in the field of lung volume reduction to certain patent rights Kuros exclusively licensed from the American Red Cross that cover the delivery of certain drugs in a fibrin sealant. In return for the license, Kuros will receive upfronts, milestones and royalties on the sale of Aeris' lead product, the AeriSeal(TM) Biologic Lung Volume Reduction (BLVR) System, a novel investigational emphysema treatment. Aeris is currently preparing for the initiation of Phase 3 clinical trials for the AeriSeal BLVR system.
Commenting on the license, Dr. David Dove, CEO of Aeris, said: "The licensing of this IP from Kuros is an important step in the continued development of our unique Biologic Lung Volume Reduction System. We believe that BLVR has the potential to offer patients suffering from emphysema a treatment option that can alleviate their symptoms of shortness of breath and improve quality of life."The AeriSeal Biologic Lung Volume Reduction System is a non-surgical treatment in which a bronchoscope is used to deliver a proprietary mixture of drugs and biologics that form a bio-absorbable gel to diseased areas of the lungs. The gel is composed of a mixture of a fibrin sealant as a drug delivery system, an antibiotic to prevent infection and drugs designed to cause a reaction in targeted areas of the lungs. A unique element of the BLVR System is its use of the body's natural scar formation response to permanently collapse diseased areas of the lungs. This reduction in lung volume allows the less diseased parts of the lungs to function more effectively and thereby improves the breathing of patients with emphysema.
Emphysema is a progressive, debilitating disease of the lung that affects as many as 60 million people worldwide. Patients with emphysema currently have limited treatment choices. In recent years, lung volume reduction surgery, which is based on the same reasoning as BLVR but involves surgical removal of the diseased areas of the lung, has become an accepted therapy for advanced emphysema. This procedure, although effective for many patients, is complicated and is accompanied by substantial morbidity and mortality risks.
Commenting on the license, Mr. Didier Cowling, CEO of Kuros, said: "We are pleased to be granting this license to Aeris. This is a further demonstration of the value of our patent portfolio and demonstrates that we are able to extract value from it in areas beyond our immediate focus."
Kuros is a biotechnology company that is focused on the development of novel biomaterials and bioactive-biomaterial combinations for trauma, wound and spinal indications.
Kuros' combination products are designed to mimic the body's natural healing process. The products consist of fusion proteins of naturally occurring bioactive factors, covalently incorporated into fibrin or synthetic matrices. The incorporation of the biologically active molecules into the injectable matrices aims to maximize their activity by retention at the site of action. Kuros products are designed to combine ease of application with localized delivery. Kuros has a number of methodologies to achieve the desired retention and release profiles of the biologically active molecules.
Kuros' has a diverse pipeline of product candidates with its most advanced products being in trauma and wound care.
Since its creation, Kuros has received over $90 million in funding. The company is located in Zurich, Switzerland.
Aeris Therapeutics, Inc. is an emerging medical therapeutics company specializing in the development and commercialization of novel treatments for patients with emphysema and other advanced lung diseases. The AeriSeal BLVR System is designed to provide a safe, minimally invasive treatment alternative for advanced emphysema patients who currently have limited treatment options.
Founded in 2000, Aeris Therapeutics Inc. is privately held, with corporate offices in Woburn, MA.