October 15, 2008
Miraculins Executes License Agreement With Mount Sinai Hospital for Portfolio of Diagnostic Biomarkers for Preeclampsia
Miraculins Inc. (TSX VENTURE: MOM), a medical diagnostic company focused on developing and commercializing diagnostic tests for unmet clinical needs is pleased to announce that it has executed a license agreement with Mount Sinai Hospital ("MSH") to acquire the rights to commercialize a portfolio of biomarkers for use in developing diagnostic assays for the early detection of preeclampsia, a disease of growing incidence and the leading cause of maternal and prenatal deaths worldwide. A reliable test for preeclampsia has the potential to be used as a general screen for all pregnant women, representing a market of 6.4 million women annually in the US alone.
Preeclampsia is a devastating disease of pregnancy that manifests abruptly and is characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of significant amounts of protein in the urine. In the most severe cases, it can progress into eclampsia which often results in seizure, stroke, coma and death. There is currently no reliable test that can accurately predict the onset of preeclampsia, leaving the disease to be diagnosed by its symptoms, which are non-specific to preeclampsia. The collection of markers licensed by Miraculins has shown evidence of its ability to diagnose the disease in its earliest stages.
Under the terms of the agreement, Miraculins will issue to MSH 310,000 common shares from treasury, subject to a standard four-month and one day resale restriction, as an upfront payment in consideration of the rights granted and MSH's investment in the technology to date. Miraculins will make additional commercial and developmental milestone payments as the technology is advanced to the marketplace, and commencing on the third anniversary of the signing of the agreement, an annual maintenance fee is payable. Beginning with first commercial sale, Miraculins will pay MSH an annual minimum and running royalty on sales.
Miraculins will be responsible for development and sales of the licensed product, however, the agreement provides for certain research activities to take place collaboratively. The parties have already begun executing the development plan with studies taking place involving a specific subset of markers in the portfolio. The Company expects to be able to provide an update on the results of these studies and its further development plan by the end of fiscal 2008.
The technology was discovered through pioneering research conducted by Dr. Isabella Caniggia and her collaborators at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of MSH, and at the Hospital for Sick Children. In a previous Miraculins press release, Dr. Caniggia commented, "Our goal is to develop a diagnostic test so that physicians don't have to rely on symptoms alone to determine if a patient has preeclampsia, and I am very excited to be working with the Miraculins team to achieve this goal and ensure better outcomes for mothers and babies."
"World-class technology partners are an essential pillar of our new business strategy", said Christopher J. Moreau, president and CEO of Miraculins. "We are very proud to have formalized our partnership with Mount Sinai Hospital and Dr. Isabella Caniggia and to work together to develop a diagnostic test to help address the leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide."
Preeclampsia affects 3 million mothers worldwide every year and is associated with premature births and infant illness including cerebral palsy, blindness, epilepsy, deafness and lung conditions. There is no effective detection method for the risk of preeclampsia and the cause is unknown. It is estimated that preeclampsia costs the global health care system US$3 billion per year.
About the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital
The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, a University of Toronto affiliated research centre established in 1985, is one of the world's leading centres in biomedical research. There are 34 principal investigators leading research in diabetes, cancer biology, epidemiology, stem cell research, women's and infants' health, neurobiology and systems biology. For more information on the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, please visit www.lunenfeld.ca.
About Miraculins Inc.
Miraculins is a medical diagnostic development company focused on non-invasive tests for unmet clinical needs. Miraculins is bridging the gap between commercially available diagnostic tests and research conducted at leading research institutions around the world.
Through an internal biomarker discovery research program, Miraculins has advanced its prostate cancer diagnostic technology through to the development stage. The Company's lead product in development, P2V(TM), is a simple urine test to be used as a pre-biopsy screen to eliminate a number of men who would otherwise undergo unnecessary prostate biopsy surgery.
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Contacts: Miraculins Inc. Christopher J. Moreau President and CEO (204) 477-7599 (204) 453-1546 (FAX) Email: [email protected] Website: www.miraculins.com
SOURCE: Miraculins Inc.