PARIS, December 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
ABIVAX, a leading clinical stage biotech company developing and commercialising anti-viral compounds and human vaccines, is pleased to see the new initiative by President Obama and Raul Castro to renew diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba. ABIVAX believes that this will facilitate access to the important discoveries that have been made by life science researchers in Cuba.
ABIVAX has long recognised the quality of the life science research that has been conducted in Cuba for decades. The Company has developed strong relationships with several key life science institutes in Cuba, with the result that ABIVAX has been able to sign a number of deals that have given it access to a range of vaccines that it intends to develop and commercialise for important markets outside Cuba. These deals are with the Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) (Havana, Cuba) and the Finlay Institute (Havana, Cuba).
The links with CIGB have led to the in-licensing of ABX203, a novel therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. ABIVAX is planning to begin a pivotal Phase 2/3 trial with ABX203 in Asia, Australia and New Zealand in the coming weeks. This trial is expected to recruit 230 patients across 35 clinical centres. ABIVAX believes that ABX203 could significantly improve the treatment options for the 350 million patients worldwide with the disease.
ABIVAX has recently signed a deal with the Finlay Institute. Under the terms of this agreement, ABIVAX has gained exclusive and non-exclusive distribution rights for three vaccines currently marketed successfully by the Finlay Institute in Cuba. These vaccines target typhoid, meningococcal disease (groups B & C), and leptospirosis. Meningococcus group B vaccine has been the first authorised vaccine targeting this disease, and 100 million doses have already been applied.
ABIVAX will have rights to commercialise these products in a range of countries in Asia, including India, Indonesia and the Philippines, and Latin America, including Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay. As a result, ABIVAX has gained distribution rights to a number of exciting opportunities including typhoid in India, which is a market estimated to be worth over $600 million per annum. The Finlay Institute will be responsible for the cost competitive production of all three vaccines.
Prof. Hartmut Ehrlich, M.D., CEO of ABIVAX, said: "We have long recognised the quality of the cutting edge life science research that is conducted in Cuba. This has led to the important deals that we have with the CIGB and the Finlay Institute, which are central to ABIVAX' strategy to become a global leader in the anti-virals and vaccines. We are looking forward to using our strong relations with Cuba to gain access to further projects that will provide us with additional opportunities to bring novel therapies to patients around the world."
Dr. Philippe Pouletty, M.D., Chairman of ABIVAX, added: "The initiative that President Obama and Raul Castro have taken to normalise relations between the USA and Cuba is an important development for healthcare globally and for the life science industry in Cuba. I am confident that ABIVAX, with its very close links to the Cuban life science industry, will be a major beneficiary of this important political initiative."
In addition to these capabilities, ABIVAX capitalises on French biotech excellence, with its proprietary anti-viral platform based on cutting edge technologies including RNA-protein interaction interference. As the lead candidate from this platform, ABIVAX' ABX464 is a novel small molecule against HIV with a number of important potential competitive advantages. ABX464 has been through a successful first-in-man trial in healthy volunteers, that assessed pharmacokinetic properties and biological safety. ABIVAX plans to start a Phase 2 study in patients with HIV in the coming months. This platform has the potential to generate further proprietary breakthrough therapies to address a broad range of viral targets.
ABIVAX is a leading clinical stage biotech company focused on becoming a global leader in the discovery, development and commercialisation of anti-viral compounds and human vaccines to treat some of the world's most important infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B.
ABIVAX has 2 compounds in clinical stage research: ABX464 a novel small molecule against HIV with a number of important potential competitive advantages, and ABX203, a therapeutic vaccine candidate that could be a cure for chronic hepatitis B. The broader ABIVAX portfolio includes additional anti-viral compounds and vaccines that may enter the clinical stage in the coming 12-18 months.
ABX464 has been developed using ABIVAX' anti-viral platform that allows the Company to address a broad range of viral targets. ABIVAX has access to a number of cutting edge technologies including RNA-protein interaction Interference, B cell and cytotoxic TH1 cell amplification which it is using to generate proprietary breakthrough therapies to help patients clear important pathogenic viruses.
Headquartered in Paris, France, ABIVAX conducts its research and development in Évry (France) and Montpellier (France). In addition, ABIVAX benefits from long term partnerships with the Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Havana, Cuba), The Finlay Institute (Havana, Cuba), the British Columbia Cancer Agency (Vancouver, Canada), the CNRS (Montpellier, France), the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA, USA), the University of Chicago (Chicago, IL, USA), Brigham Young University (Provo, UT, USA) and the Institut Pasteur (Paris, France). ABIVAX intends to pursue further business development opportunities to access commercial products as part of its overall corporate strategy.
ABIVAX was founded by Dr. Philippe Pouletty, M.D. , managing partner at Truffle Capital.
For more information, please visit the company's website: http://www.ABIVAX.com
Prof. Hartmut J. Ehrlich, CEO
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Laurence Bault - Lucie Larguier (Paris)
David Dible (London)
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