SOURCE: Pharming Group N.V.

June 18, 2009 02:01 ET

Pharming receives government grant to develop human lactoferrin for inflammatory bowel diseases

LEIDEN, NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - June 18, 2009) - Biotech company Pharming Group NV ("Pharming") (NYSE Euronext: PHARM) announced today that it has initiated a two-year Food & Nutrition Delta (FND) innovation project to further develop human lactoferrin (hLF) as a nutritional product to manage inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

The goal of this program is to demonstrate safety and effectiveness of hLF as a component of functional foods for maintaining remission periods in patients with IBD. Pharming is collaborating with NIZO food research BV (Ede), the Maastricht University Medical Centre (Division of Gastroenterology-Hepatology), NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism (Maastricht) and TNO (Zeist). A EUR 400.000 subsidy was granted by FND, which is an Innovation Programme of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, executed by its agency SenterNovem. The subsidy will cover a significant portion of the costs of the early phases of the project.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of intestinal inflammatory conditions, characterized by diarrhea and abdominal pain, which reduce quality of life. The major types of IBD are Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis. In the Western world, the number of IBD patients is rapidly growing. In 2008, almost 2.2 million individuals in Europe (90,000 patients in the Netherlands) suffered from IBD and in the Netherlands alone, 5,500 new patients are identified yearly. Current therapies are aiming at inducing remission or preventing relapses and are associated with high costs and possible side effects. Therefore, a significant medical need currently exists.

As hLF has anti-infective and anti-inflammatory properties, it could provide an effective nutritional support for IBD-patients potentially preventing or delaying periods of relapse of the disease. Pharming's human lactoferrin might also be beneficial in alleviating or preventing symptoms of other chronic or acute intestinal diseases such as Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS or spastic colon) and Traveler's diarrhea.

About Pharming Group NV

Pharming Group NV is developing innovative products for the treatment of genetic disorders, ageing diseases, specialty products for surgical indications, intermediates for various applications and nutritional products. Pharming has two products in late stage development - Rhucin® for Hereditary Angioedema and human lactoferrin for use in food products. The advanced technologies of the Company include innovative platforms for the production of protein therapeutics, technology and processes for the purification and formulation of these products, as well as technology in the field of DNA repair (via DNage). Additional information is available on the Pharming website,

About SenterNovem

SenterNovem, an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, promotes sustainable development and innovation and aims to achieve tangible results that have a positive effect on the economy and on society as a whole. Its core competence is converting government policy into reality. On behalf of the Dutch government, SenterNovem implements policies regarding Innovation, Energy and Climate Change and Environment and Spatial Planning.

About the Food & Nutrition Delta

The Food & Nutrition Delta is an innovation program, aiming at making the Netherlands a leading Food Innovation region in Europe. Networks and platforms are created in an integrated manner to develop new technologies to enhance the new business development along the food industry, with special attention to Small and Medium Enterprises. This will lead to the development of innovative, new or enhanced food products that fulfill consumer needs and expectations. Those products, combined with recommended changes in lifestyle and eating patterns, will have a positive impact on public health and the quality of life and the competitive edge and market position of the food industry will be enhanced.

About NIZO food research BV

NIZO food research (Food Valley, Netherlands) is an independent research company, focusing on driving innovations and helping industry to be more profitable by developing and improving new product benefits in the areas of flavor, texture, health, food safety and processing, by providing speed and by supporting image. Customers include multinational dairy, food and beverage, food ingredient and life science companies.

About the Maastricht University Medical Centre and NUTRIM

The Maastricht University is the youngest university in the Netherlands and is known for its innovative education system, advanced research and international orientation. The division of Gastroenterology-Hepatology has a large expertise in IBD and intestinal motility disorders.

NUTRIM, School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, is part of the Maastricht University and initiates and catalyzes translational research on nutritional and metabolic health risks and benefits focusing on societal important chronic diseases. NUTRIM has worldwide research collaborations with other academic groups, government and industry.

About TNO

TNO is an innovative Dutch knowledge institute developing, integrating and applying knowledge: to generate new products, services and processes, fully customised for business and government. One of the core areas, TNO Quality of Life, investigates how to safeguard and improve the health of people and how they perform.

This press release contains forward looking statements that involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward looking statements.


Sijmen de Vries (NL)
Pharming Group NV
T: +31 (0)71 52 47 400

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