GroPep announced today it has licensed its Whey Growth Factor Extract (WGFE) technology to Australian biotechnology company, TGR BioSciences (TGR).
TGR has raised $3 million to fund further clinical development of WGFE as a treatment for oral mucositis, a debilitating side effect of cancer treatments.
GroPep will receive royalties of more than 10% on TGR's commercialisation of the technology.
Biopharmaceutical company GroPep Limited (ASX: GRO) today announced that it has licensed certain Whey Growth Factor Extract (WGFE) technology rights to TGR BioSciences Pty Ltd (TGR). This arrangement will also allow TGR to raise additional funds to finance further development of the technology.
Under two separate agreements, venture capitalist Nanyang Innovation Fund managed by Nanyang Ventures (Nanyang) will invest up to $3 million, TGR will start a clinical trial of WGFE for oral mucositis and GroPep will license the WGFE technology to TGR.
GroPep will receive royalties of more than 10% from TGR on commercialisation of the technology and TGR has taken over responsibility for five patent families developed by GroPep and the related costs. GroPep's shareholding in TGR is reduced from 20% to 12%.
Among the rights licensed to TGR is GroPep's oral mucositis product technology. Oral mucositis is an extremely painful side effect afflicting chemotherapy patients. GroPep and collaborators have previously generated significant preclinical and clinical data, including a successful Phase 1b trial conducted at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, indicating the safety and potential for WGFE to treat this condition. TGR has committed to initiate further clinical development in the oral mucositis setting within the next year.
Mr Gregory Moss-Smith, Vice President of Commercial Operations at GroPep, said "Licensing the technology to TGR, combined with the capital injection from Nanyang, is an effective means of advancing the oral mucositis product. GroPep had decided last year to focus our biopharmaceutical development program on our most desirable products – PV903 for recurrent miscarriage and PP0102 for psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases. This arrangement will allow continued development of the WGFE technology by a third party." Dr Leanna Read, Managing Director of TGR said "In addition to the oral mucositis project, this new license combined with intellectual property already held by TGR will allow the company to expand its growing commercial product range in the areas of gut and skin health."
What is Oral Mucositis?
Oral mucositis (mouth ulceration and inflammation) is an extremely painful side effect for many patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer. For certain cancer treatments almost all patients suffer from this affliction. Mucositis can be so severe that eating, drinking and speech is not possible. Cancer treatment may have to be delayed or suspended completely and infections originating in the mouth can lead to complications or death. An estimated one million people suffer from oral mucositis each year in the United States.
What is WGFE?
Whey Growth Factor Extract (WGFE) is a biologically active milk extract of naturally occurring proteins known to be fundamental to the tissue healing process.
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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