LAVAL, QUEBEC, CANADA--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2012) - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI) ("ProMetic" or the "Corporation") announced today the signing of two strategic agreements with Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co., LTD, ("Hepalink"). The commercial agreement relates to a research and development project based on ProMetic's proprietary protein technologies and includes $11 million in licensing fees and milestone payments to ProMetic, of which $2 million is payable upfront. In addition, ProMetic shall receive further funding for product development activities to be performed on behalf of Hepalink, expected to be initiated in the fourth quarter of 2012.
This joint research and development program is designed to provide Hepalink with proprietary bioprocesses as part of its product expansion and diversification activities. The successful completion of these development activities are expected to lead to a subsequent long-term agreement for the exclusive manufacture and supply by ProMetic of the relevant affinity resin.
"This new commercial agreement follows the recent operational success achieved with China National Biotec Group ("CNBG") and strategic agreement with Taiwan based Hematech BioTherapeutics. This represents yet another significant future revenue stream that will play a key role in achieving our Asian markets penetration strategy", stated Mr. Pierre Laurin, President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic.
The strategic investment, which is in addition to the commercial agreement, consists of a $10 million equity investment in ProMetic at a premium share price of $0.204 per share (or 63% over the October 15, 2012 closing share price). This investment will enable the execution of various strategic initiatives, including the operational launch of ProMetic's GMP plasma facility, located in Laval, Quebec and dedicated to the manufacturing of plasma derived products. ProMetic's clients and partners such as NantPharma and Hematech BioTherapeutics shall rely on the supply of cGMP bulk products from the Laval facility to support their respective clinical trials and commercial product launches.
"The $10 million strategic investment allows us to maximize the return to our shareholders by limiting the need to externally finance the launch of our Laval plasma facility and therefore ProMetic retaining a greater portion of its ownership", mentioned Mr. Laurin. "Together, these agreements are pivotal to ProMetic's expansion of its commercial activities into Asia and we are pleased to welcome Hepalink's strategic contribution to this endeavor. Asia's plasma and biopharmaceutical product markets represent an estimated 8% of the world's market whilst its population accounts for more than 50%. These Asian markets are expected to grow at a 15-20% compounded annual growth rate over the coming years", added Mr. Laurin.
Hepalink's $10 million equity investment in ProMetic is in exchange of the issuance of 48,147,053 shares of the Corporation at a share price of $0.204, representing approximately 10.02% of ProMetic's 480,678,926 outstanding shares on a post transaction basis. The issued shares shall be subject to a three (3) year hold period. The investment is conditional on regulatory approval by the parties' respective regulatory authorities.
ProMetic will host a conference call to discuss the agreements at 11:30am (EST) on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. The telephone numbers to access the conference call are (416) 981-9000 (International) and 1-800-741-5804 (North America Toll-Free). A live audio webcast of the conference call will be available via ProMetic's website at www.prometic.com.
An audio replay of the call will be available for a period of seven (7) days as of Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at 1: 30pm (EST). The numbers to access the audio replay are (416) 626-4100 (international) and 1 (800) 558-5253 (North America Toll Free) using access code: 21608556.
Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd (Hepalink) is the largest supplier of Heparin Sodium API in the world, distributing its products in the global markets and internationally renowned pharmaceutical companies, including Sanofi-Aventis, Fresenius Kabi, and Novartis. Hepalink was established in 1998 and was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on May 6, 2010. Hepalink's headquarters are located in the Shenzhen High-Tech Park.
About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (www.prometic.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company specializing in the design of small molecules that mimic unique and specific interactions between proteins, 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, drug development, proteomics and the elimination of pathogens. ProMetic is also active in developing its own novel therapeutic products targeting unmet medical needs in the field of fibrosis, anemia, neutropenia, cancer and autoimmune diseases/inflammation as well as certain nephropathies Headquartered in Laval (Canada), ProMetic has R&D facilities in the UK, the U.S. and Canada, manufacturing facilities in the UK and business development activities in the U.S., Europe, Asia and in the Middle-East.
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 24 of ProMetic's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2011, under the heading "Risk and Uncertainties related to ProMetic's business". 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, unless required by applicable securities laws and regulations. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless indicated otherwise.