ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

January 07, 2008 14:34 ET

ProMetic Reports That PRDT Technology Amplifies Sensitivity for BSE Detection in Cattle

Enhancements in concentration technology increases sensitivity of BSE detection by as much as 80-fold

CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM, MONTREAL, CANADA--(Marketwire - Jan. 7, 2008) - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") (TSX:PLI), announced today that the incorporation of Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc.'s ("PRDT") concentration technology to commercially available post mortem diagnostic tests for bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("BSE") could vastly improve the sensitivity of these tests by as much as 80-fold.

This improved sensitivity of existing diagnostic devices was achieved by pre-treating the samples with PRDT's enhanced concentration technology. The results showed an added level of sensitivity to the BSE detection process, thereby reducing the risk of "false outcomes" with existing tests. This could allow for the detection of infectious prions at an earlier phase in the development of the disease, thus improving the safety of the food industry for the countries testing for BSE.

PRDT's concentration technology, under development by ProMetic's BSafE Innovations Inc. division, has demonstrated its compatibility with existing diagnostic tests for BSE detection as previously confirmed through comprehensive validation testing. ProMetic's first device using the concentration technology will take the form of a filter that will amplify the "infectious prion signal" by concentrating bovine prions from brain tissue. This stronger signal allows for a more sensitive detection of BSE in cattle and at a younger age. This is significant because most cattle going to market are less than 24 months old and current BSE diagnostic tests are unlikely to identify the disease at that age.

"Our scientists continue to make excellent progress towards the commercialization of this first device," comments Dr. Peter Edwardson, Vice-President, Medical Technologies, ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. "We are extremely encouraged by these recent findings, as they increase our ability to leverage our prion research and development expertise, adding value to many currently available diagnostics tests for BSE."

Tests for infectious prions such as BSE are conducted on approximately 13 million out of the 60 million cattle annually in the U.S., Europe and Japan. The vast majority of these tests are performed in Europe and Japan, with less than 40,000 tests performed in the U.S.

Mr. Kym Anthony, principal of Top Meadow Farms and Chairman of BSafE says, "As this technology is developed, we will continue to see a significant step towards a more reliable tool for improving the safety of our global food supply. This product should enable us to detect BSE at an earlier stage in its development and further increase consumer comfort that the products they are consuming are truly safe. The future continues to be very promising for the veterinary applications our technology."

About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ( is a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications derived from its proprietary Mimetic Ligand™ technology. This technology is used in large-scale purification of biologics and the elimination of pathogens. ProMetic is also active in therapeutic drug development with the mission to bring to market effective, innovative, lower cost, less toxic products for the treatment of hematology and cancer. Its drug discovery platform is focused on replacing complex, expensive proteins with synthetic "drug-like" protein mimetics. Headquartered in Montreal (Canada), ProMetic has R&D facilities in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada, manufacturing facilities in the U.K. and business development activities in the U.S., Europe, Asia and in the Middle-East.

About BSafE Innovations Inc.

BSafE Innovations Inc. is a business unit of ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. operated in association with Top Meadow Life Sciences Inc., a subsidiary of Top Meadow Farms headquartered in Clarksburg, Ontario. BSafE's primary mission is the continued development and commercialization of a bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("BSE") diagnostic - a testing device that will detect the presence of TSE prions (the proteins that carry "mad cow disease" or vCJD agents) in blood samples taken from live cattle. This BSE diagnostic will be developed for use by herd owners, governments and health regulators with the goal of making it the purification standard by which live cattle can be certified as fit for sale and consumption. BSafE has in-licensed some veterinary applications of proprietary technologies developed by PRDT. BSafE relies on the same PRDT platform technology and core competency used to develop the P-Capt™ prion filter which is CE marked and will be commercially launched in Europe by its partner MacoPharma during 2007.

About Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc.

Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. ("PRDT") is a joint-venture company set up in April 2002 by The American Red Cross and ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. PRDT allows for a reciprocal exchange of technology and knowledge developed between the American Red Cross and ProMetic. PRDT's main goal is to develop products and devices to remove and detect different pathogens from biological sources. This research augments work that ProMetic, the American Red Cross and PRDT's scientific founders have been conducting independently for many years.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements about ProMetic's objectives, strategies and businesses that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are "forward-looking" because they are based on our current expectations about the markets we operate in and on various estimates and assumptions. Actual events or results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks affect our business, or if our estimates or assumptions turn out to be inaccurate. Such risks and assumptions include, but are not limited to, ProMetic's ability to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialize value-added pharmaceutical products, the availability of funds and resources to pursue R&D projects, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the ability of ProMetic to take advantage of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes in economic conditions. You will find a more detailed assessment of the risks that could cause actual events or results to materially differ from our current expectations on page 21 of ProMetic's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2006, under the heading "Risk Factors". As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other reason.

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