ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

June 07, 2007 00:04 ET

ProMetic Confirms Increased Sensitivity for BSE Detection in Cattle

- Company designs and tests filter product to improve accuracy of BSE detection - Partnering opportunities seen for 2007

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 7, 2007) - BSafE Innovations Inc. (BSafE), a joint venture company owned by ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") (TSX:PLI) and Top Meadow Farms, announced today that by conducting a comprehensive array of validation tests, it has confirmed that its first filter product can significantly increase the sensitivity of diagnostics currently used to detect the presence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle post mortem.

The BSafE filter, which is designed as an add-on to current diagnostic testing devices, provides an extra level of increased sensitivity to the process of detecting BSE, as it can reduce the risk of "false negatives" with current tests. Part of the validation work performed demonstrates BSafE's step preceding current commercially available diagnostic tests can convert a negative into a positive.

Pierre Laurin, president and chief executive officer of ProMetic commented, "The safety of the food chain is of the utmost importance and the BSafE filter provides a tool that can greatly enhance the accuracy of BSE detection in cows that have been slaughtered or died. BSE, which is often known as Mad Cow Disease, is highly infectious, so it is very important to have more reliable tests available on the market in order to stop the spread of the disease as early as possible."

BSE infected cattle are found to have abnormal prions (infectious proteins) concentrated in the brain and spinal cord. Tests for infectious prions such as BSE are conducted on approximately 13 million out of the 60 million cattle harvested annually in the U.S., Europe and Japan. The vast majority of these tests are performed in Europe and Japan, when less than 40,000 tests are performed in the U.S.

Kym Anthony, owner of Top Meadow Farms and chairman of BSafE said, "Although testing cattle for infectious prions like BSE has been more active outside the U.S., we expect increased activity in the U.S. as more and more herd owners, health regulators and consumers become aware of the value of BSE testing. We can foresee tremendous growth in this market as more refined detection tools, such as the BSafE filter, become available. This will be very important for regulatory bodies, researchers, inspectors and ultimately the consumer who wants to be assured that his or her food is unquestionably safe. I would also add that there is legal action pending regarding voluntary testing of BSE in the United States, which could have an impact on the BSE surveillance market."

BSafE's first device will take the form of a filter that will concentrate the "infectious prions signal" by adsorbing bovine prions from brain tissue. This stronger signal allows for more sensitive detection of BSE in cattle and at younger ages. This is significant because most cattle going to market are less than 24 months old and current BSE testing is unlikely to identify the disease at that age.

"We are now focused on translating this first key milestone into a significant commercial opportunity for BSafE as early as this year, and we have already initiated discussions with potential strategic partners", said Christian Frayssignes, president and chief executive officer of BSafE. "Because our technology is in the late stages of development and we believe that we have a demonstrably effective product that can be used as an add-on to currently available tests, we feel confident that we will begin to see a cash in flow during 2007 as a result of a commercial transaction and/or product sales."

Mr. Laurin concluded, "Our corporate strategy is to leverage our overall expertise in prion research, ligand development and manufacturing capabilities to capitalize on as many commercial applications in relation to safety concerns and transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSEs). The future is very promising for the veterinary applications of this 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™ enabling 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 UK, the USA and Canada, manufacturing facilities in the UK and business development activities in the US, Europe, Asia and in the Middle-East.

About Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. (PRDT)

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.

About BSafE Innovations Inc.

BSafE is a joint venture 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 BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) 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 Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. ("PRDT"), a joint venture between the American Red Cross and ProMetic. 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.

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, the Company'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 the Company 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 the Company'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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