January 30, 2006 10:24 ET

Polydex Receives European Patent Coverage on Use of Ushercell to Prevent and Treat Papilloma Virus Infections

TORONTO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 30, 2006 -- Polydex Pharmaceuticals Limited (NASDAQ: POLXF) is pleased to announce that Rush University Medical Center and Polydex Pharmaceuticals have been granted a patent from the European Patent Office regarding the use of cellulose sulfate (Ushercell) and other sulfated polysaccharides to prevent and treat papilloma virus infections in humans and other mammals. In studies directed by Lourens J.D. Zaneveld, D.V.M. Ph.D, and described in the patent application, Ushercell was shown to be effective in inhibiting both Bovine Papilloma Virus (BPV) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infections.

This patent, bearing number EP 1296691, includes a number of claims covering the use of Ushercell and other sulfated polysaccharides in the manufacture of a medicament for treating, inhibiting or preventing papilloma virus infections and for preventing or inhibiting malignant epithelial lesions including cervical cancer. Similar patent coverage is pending in Canada and in the U.S.

Polydex has been granted a number of patents related to Ushercell, and additional patent applications are currently pending in various countries for claims related to Ushercell. George Usher, President and CEO of Polydex Pharmaceuticals Limited notes, "This European patent is the first among a series of international patents pending relating to Ushercell's activity in prevention and treatment of papilloma virus infection and other infections. It will take further research and financial resources to drive the clinical trial process for this indication and we intend to explore this potential with our development partners in the future. In the meantime, our Scientific Advisory Board is focused on reducing the cost of producing Ushercell and are exploring avenues of commercial feasibility with a view to bringing Ushercell to market as soon as possible."

Genital human papilloma virus infections represent one of the most frequent sexually transmitted diseases and are considered to be a leading cause of cervical cancer in women. Cervical cancer represents the second most frequent cause of cancer-related deaths in women and accounts for more than 200,000 deaths per year worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20 million people are currently infected with HPV. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection. About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year.

As stated in the patent, microbicidal agents that may otherwise indicate a broad spectrum of prevention capabilities have thus far proven to be ineffective against papilloma viruses.

Polydex Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has built a patent estate through collaborative research and development efforts originating at universities and privately funded health organizations that concentrate on basic research and create core technologies. The development of Ushercell as a core patent, including methods of manufacture and second-generation developments have created a well-established basis of claims.

Ushercell has been developed with collaborative support from CONRAD, a cooperating agency of USAID committed to improving reproductive health by expanding the contraceptive choices of women and men and by helping to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. CONRAD is administered through the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, VA, with the main office located in Arlington, VA.

Polydex Pharmaceuticals Limited, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of biotechnology-based products for the human pharmaceutical market, and also manufactures bulk pharmaceutical intermediates for the worldwide veterinary pharmaceutical industry.

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Note: This press release may contain forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, regarding Polydex Pharmaceuticals Limited. Actual events or results may differ materially from the Company's expectations, which are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties including but not limited to changing market conditions, future actions by the United States Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory authorities as well as results of pending or future clinical trials. Other risk factors discussed in the Company's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission may also affect the actual results achieved by the Company.

Contact Information

  • Contact for CONRAD:
    Annette Larkin
    Email Contact

    Investor Relations for Polydex Pharmaceuticals Limited:
    North Arm Capital Services
    Linda Hughes
    (Email Contact)