SOURCE: Biolex Therapeutics

May 01, 2007 09:00 ET

Biolex Therapeutics Announces Strategic Collaboration With Merial for Animal Health Vaccines

Collaboration Encompasses First Vaccines to Be Produced With LEX System(SM)

PITTSBORO, NC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 1, 2007 -- Biolex Therapeutics today announced a strategic collaboration with Merial Limited, a world-leader in animal health, for the development of animal health products using Biolex's patented LEX System(SM). The collaboration will leverage key advantages of the LEX System to provide Merial with high quality vaccine antigens. Merial is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis.

During the initial phase of the collaboration, studies will be conducted to evaluate different animal vaccines using recombinant proteins produced in the LEX System. Terms include research and development support and development milestones during the initial phase of the collaboration. Following the conclusion of the studies, Merial may exercise an option regarding a worldwide license covering the use of the LEX System for the field of animal health.

"The field of animal health biologics represents a rapidly growing $3 billion market, and we are pleased to form this collaboration with an innovative worldwide leader in this field," said Jan Turek, President and CEO of Biolex. "The LEX System is broadly applicable to all proteins, including vaccine antigens, and we look forward to working with Merial to develop these important animal health products."

"We are exploring and developing new ranges of vaccines which employ both conventional and novel technologies with the objective of offering enhanced protection to a wide range of animal species," said Dr. Robert Nordgren, Head of Research, Technology Acquisition, and North American Biological Development at Merial. "We are eager to continue exploring the LEX System as an enabling platform for the development and production of proteins in Merial's growing portfolio of animal vaccines."

About Merial

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2006 sales were nearly $2.2 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see

About Biolex Therapeutics

Biolex Therapeutics is developing and commercializing therapeutic proteins based on the LEX System(SM), its patented expression system that enables the production of hard-to-make proteins and the optimization of monoclonal antibodies. The Company is developing a proprietary pipeline of products that rely upon known mechanisms of action to provide a reduced risk profile while targeting large, proven pharmaceutical markets. Biolex's lead clinical candidate, Locteron™, is being developed as a best-in-class controlled-release interferon alfa for the treatment of hepatitis C. The Company's second product candidate, BLX-155, is a direct-acting thrombolytic, designed to break up clots in certain diseases such as acute peripheral arterial disease, deep vein thrombosis and catheter occlusion. In addition, the unique capabilities of the LEX System have led to collaborations with Centocor, Medarex and other leading pharmaceutical/biotech companies. Biolex is a venture capital-backed company located in the Research Triangle region of North Carolina, United States. For additional information, please visit Biolex's web site at

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