RICHMOND, BC, July 12 /CNW/ - Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (TSE, VSE:
IZP) today announced that it had closed on a second tranche of convertible
preferred shares with Hoechst Marion Roussel for net proceeds of CN$4,949,742
(approximately US$3.3 million).
Proceeds from the offering will be used primarily to fund the development
of Inflazyme's IPL576 series in asthma and H1/NK1 for the treatment of
allergies. The preferred shares are convertible into common shares at
Inflazyme's option any time after year one at a price based on the higher of
the common share price at the time of subscription or conversion, up to a
maximum of CN$9.00. Inflazyme will be required to convert the preferred shares
into common stock following the completion of Phase IIa for an oral compound
from both the IPL576 series and the H1/NK1 dual antagonists.
Ian McBeath, President and CEO of Inflazyme said, ``This convertible
preferred investment vehicle enables Inflazyme to access capital without
near-term dilution to our shareholders. These shares will be converted to
common stock in the future at Inflazyme's option and probably not for at least
two to three years.''
Today's announcement follows the signing of a collaborative research
agreement between Inflazyme and Hoechst Marion Roussel on May 14, 1999. The
collaboration will provide Inflazyme with an up-front fee and equity
investments by Hoechst Marion Roussel totaling up to CN$24 million (US$16
million). To date, Inflazyme has received approximately CN$18 million of this
total and expects to access the remainder through preferred equity investments
in the future. In addition, Inflazyme will be entitled to payments of up to
US$75 million if development milestones specified in the agreement are
achieved. Inflazyme will also receive double-digit royalties on future sales
of any products developed under the agreement.
IPL576,092 is Inflazyme's lead clinical candidate from its IPL576 series
of compounds. The IPL576 series is based on a molecule originally isolated
from a sea sponge by researchers at the University of British Columbia and the
University of Alberta. Inflazyme has demonstrated that IPL576,092 has a
significant effect on mediators of inflammation in vitro and in standard
pre-clinical in vivo studies of asthma when administered orally or by
inhalation. These pre-clinical studies demonstrate that IPL576,092 may have
the efficacy of inhaled glucocorticoids without the related side effects.
Inflazyme initiated Phase I human clinical trials with IPL576,092 in June
1999. The Company expects to receive the results of Phase I clinical trials
in early 2000.
IPL576 is being developed for the treatment of asthma and respiratory
disease in collaboration with Hoechst Marion Roussel a world leader in
pharmaceutical healthcare. Under the terms of the collaboration, Inflazyme is
responsible for the development of IPL 576 through Phase IIa clinical trials.
After Phase IIa trials are completed, Hoechst Marion Roussel will have the
option to acquire exclusive worldwide rights (non-exclusive in Canada) to an
oral dosage form of a product developed from the IPL576 series for the
treatment of asthma and respiratory disease upon payment of a milestone to
Inflazyme. Hoechst Marion Roussel will then be responsible for further
development and commercialization of the product.
Inflazyme is currently exploring other anti-inflammatory indications for
IPL576 and expects to define an additional therapeutic project from this class
of compounds during 1999. Hoechst Marion Roussel has a first right of refusal
to license additional products developed from such projects on commercial
terms to be agreed.
H1/NK1 dual antagonists combine in a single molecule an antihistamine and
a neuro-peptide inhibitor. In pre-clinical studies to date, H1/NK1 dual
antagonist compounds have demonstrated antagonist activity at both the H1 and
NK1 receptors, which indicates that they may have the potential to relieve
both the itchiness and the congestion associated with allergies.
Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is a Richmond, BC, Canada based
biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and
commercialization of drugs to treat serious inflammatory diseases such as
asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel
disease. In addition to IPL576, the Company has discovered several other
compounds that have promising anti-inflammatory activity, including IPL423, a
class of molecules being developed for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
The statements made in this press release may contain certain
forward-looking comments. Actual events or results may differ from the
Company's expectations. In addition to the matters described in the press
release, future actions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent
regulatory authorities in various countries, results of pending or future
clinical trials, as well as risk factors from time to time in the Company's
SEC reports, may affect the actual results achieved by the Company. Exemption
from registration pursuant to Rule 12g3-2(b), Reg. No. 82-2317. Neither the
Toronto Stock Exchange nor the Vancouver Stock Exchange have reviewed this
release and they do not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of
/For further information: Jeffrey A. Bacha, Vice President, Corporate
Development (800) 315-3660, www.inflazyme.com/
CO: Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
ST: British Columbia
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