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Pharmalink AB Closes Deal With Grifols SA for the Acquisition of the Xepol(R) Programme for the Treatment of Post-Polio Syndrome

June 30, 2010

STOCKHOLM, June 30, 2010 /PRNewswire/ –

– Agreement Marks Milestone in Pharmalink’s Corporate Development

Pharmalink AB, today announced that it has closed its agreement with
Grifols SA for the acquisition of Pharmalink’s Xepol(R) programme for the
treatment of post-polio syndrome (PPS). The parties had previously announced
reaching an agreement whereby Grifols would acquire all know-how and global
intellectual property rights related to the use of human immunoglobulin for
the treatment of (PPS) – the concept at the heart of the Xepol programme.

The agreement covers acquisition of one of Pharmalink’s wholly owned
subsidiaries and includes inter alia US, EU and Japan patents for the
treatment of PPS with immunoglobulins, a US Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) for
the use of immunoglobulin for the treatment of PPS and documentation of a
number of clinical studies carried out in the recent years.

Johan Haggblad, Managing director of Pharmalink AB said: “This agreement
marks a significant milestone in Pharmalink’s corporate development. In
developing a concept originally devised by academic researchers at the
Karolinska Institute and seeing it through to being acquired by a world class
company we have demonstrated the considerable value creation made possible by
the Pharmalink model. We are very happy to see Grifols, our long standing
partner, acquire and develop the PPS indication and to have played a part in
bringing forward a treatment for this underserved condition.”

Grifols will develop the PPS product opportunity using the acquired
assets. Pharmalink will assist in technology transfer and provide contact
with its network of physicians and patient organizations. The purchase price
is undisclosed but divided into an up-front payment and commercial milestone
payments.

The PPS product opportunity is an important means to provide a treatment
to a patient group largely suffering without effective medication and to
expand sales of immunoglobulin in new patient segments.

About PPS

Several decades after suffering acute polio infection survivors commonly
develop PPS characterized by new or increased muscle weakness, fatigue, and
pain. Ongoing denervation is the most often suggested for increased muscle
weakness associated with polio infection.

Patients with PPS have increased expression of mRNA for proinflammatory
cytokines in cerebrospinal fluid which suggests an inflammatory process in
the central nervous system. Some patients with asymmetrical weakness have
increased wear and tear on joints and muscles, including breathing muscles.

While rarely fatal, the neurological and muscular symptoms of PPS are
lifelong and debilitating.

The most recent polio epidemic culminated in the Western countries around
1950. As most infections occur in children, there is nowadays a large pool of
polio survivors with varying degrees of functional decline. US National
Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) gives a prevalence
interval for PPS of 25 to 50% (in primary polio infection survivors), WHO
estimates a 40 % prevalence; assuming a prevalence of 30%, only in major
Western countries there would be around 300,000 PPS patients.

Currently there is no pharmacological treatment for PPS. Several
therapeutic agents have failed in achieving positive outcomes. Treatment
practices are based on physiotherapy, non-fatiguing exercise and the use of
assistive devices. The promising results with immunoglobulin may help address
the unmet medical need of some PPS patients. In several clinical trials lead
by a team of physicians at Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) and sponsored by
Pharmalink AB, immunoglobulin has shown significant and clinically meaningful
results in endpoints such as pain, walking ability and quality of life (SF-36
scores) by down-regulating the inflammatory process in the nervous system of
PPS patients.

About Pharmalink

Pharmalink is a Swedish specialty pharma company developing high value
products for niche indications. Pharmalink draws on its extensive experience
of pharmaceutical product development and the excellence of medical science
in Sweden to identify and progress products that address significant unmet
medical needs. Pharmalink has introduced more than 15 pharmaceutical products
to the market. Using a repurposing and reformulation strategy, Pharmalink
minimizes the risk of product development. The Company’s strategy is to
develop drugs to clinical proof-of-concept and then to out-license or divest
to a commercial partner. Pharmalink currently has two clinical phase
development projects, Nefecon(R) and BusulipoTM, mature for out-licensing to
a commercial partner and is actively in-licensing promising new projects to
add to its pipeline. Visit http://www.pharmalink.se for further information.

About Grifols

Grifols is a Spanish holding company specialized in the
pharmaceutical-hospital sector and is present in more than 90 countries.
Since 2006, the company has been listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange
(“Mercado Continuo”) and is part of the Ibex-35. Currently it is the first
company in the European sector in plasma derivatives and the fourth in
production worldwide. In upcoming years, the company will strengthen its
leadership in the industry as a vertically integrated company, thanks to
recent investments. In terms of raw materials, Grifols has ensured its plasma
supply with 80 plasmapheresis centers in the United States and in terms of
fractionation, its plants in Barcelona (Spain) and Los Angeles (United
States
) will allow the company to respond to the growing market demand.
Nevertheless, the company is preparing for sustained growth in the following
8-10 years and has launched an ambitious investment plan.

    For further information, please contact:

    Pharmalink AB:
    Johan Haggblad, Managing Director, +46(0)70-668-0644
    Email: johan.haggblad@pharmalink.se

http://www.pharmalink.se

    Citigate Dewe Rogerson:
    Chris Gardner/Nina Enegren, +44-207-638-9571

    Grifols SA:
    Raquel Lumbreras Lanchas/Borja Gomez Vazquez
    Tel : +34-91-311-92-89/+34-91-311-92-90
    Mobile: +34-659-57-21-85
    Email: raquel_lumbreras@duomocomunicacion.com
           borja_gomez@duomocomunicacion.com

SOURCE Pharmalink AB


Source: newswire