Asterion Press Releases and News

Sept. 2008: Asterion signs deal with Genzyme

Asterion Ltd, the third generation biopharmaceuticals company that is developing novel therapeutic products with superior pharmacological profiles, is pleased to announce today that it has signed a Research and Option Agreement with Genzyme Corp. , one of the world's leading biotechnology companies, to develop a long-acting form of a non-cytokine protein.  Under the terms of the Agreement, Genzyme will gain access to elements of Asterion’s IP portfolio surrounding a specific protein target and will perform research work designed to look at the creation of a long-acting and potent version of an undisclosed protein of mutual commercial interest.

In addition to applying its technologies to novel targets, Asterion is focusing on developing third generation Asterion Fusion Technology (AFT™) therapeutic products that address unmet clinical and commercial needs in large markets where the targets are validated, the clinical development path is known and the commercial opportunity is clearer. If developed successfully, Asterion’s future products have the potential to be used to treat diseases such as anaemia, neutropenia, multiple sclerosis, growth disorders and autoimmune disorders.

Asterion’s lead candidates, long acting (AFT™) growth hormone protein candidates, are partnered with the international specialty pharmaceutical group, Ipsen and are being developed for conditions including short stature and acromegaly, a disorder caused by excess production of growth hormone.

Commenting on the deal, Dr Raymond Barlow, CEO of Asterion Ltd, said: “We are pleased to have signed this agreement with Genzyme, which is one of the largest and most experienced global biotechnology firms.  This deal endorses and demonstrates the interest that corporate partners have shown towards our ProFuse™ protein engineering approach and the (AFT™) therapeutic proteins that are derived from it.” Dr Raymond Barlow added: “This transaction is part of our strategy of securing corporate partnerships on certain protein targets whilst, at the same time, seeking funding for the clinical development of other assets where we believe we can grow value organically.  Asterion’s technologies can potentially be applied to a range of cytokine and non-cytokine targets and we hope to be able to exploit the breadth and depth of our portfolio to build value for our investors.”

March 2008: Biofusion invests £265, 000 in Asterion

Biofusion plc (AIM: BFN), the university IP commercialization company that turns world class research into world-class business, today announces that it has made an additional investment of £265,000 in Asterion Limited (“Asterion”), a portfolio company from Biofusion’s University of Sheffield agreement. This brings Biofusion’s investment to £550,000 in this company. Asterion is developing a range of novel therapeutic proteins that will improve the current treatment options for patients with chronic diseases. Using its novel, patented ProFuse™ therapeutic platform, Asterion is generating and developing long-acting biopharmaceutical products that can be administered at a lower dose, less frequently and with fewer side effects than existing marketed drugs.

The company already has an agreement with the French pharmaceutical company Ipsen Limited (“Ipsen”) to use its platform in the development of a new Human Growth Hormone product. Results to date have been very promising and Asterion anticipates that the product will enter Phase 1 trials as soon as possible. Biofusion’s investment in Asterion will be used to accelerate the use of the ProFuse™ platform on a number of Asterion developed and owned products and to further extend the effectiveness of ProFuse™.  Following the investment, Biofusion now owns a 38% shareholding in Asterion.

Commenting on this announcement, David Baynes, Chief Executive Officer of Biofusion, said: “We are very pleased to be investing additional money into one of our most exciting portfolio companies.  Asterion has the potential to be of significant value to its shareholders if the ProFuse™ platform continues to show the quality of results it has to date.”
Also commenting on this announcement, Raymond Barlow, Chief Executive Officer of Asterion, said: “We welcome this funding from Biofusion, which we will use to invest in some of our leading-edge development programmes to further demonstrate the broad utility of our technologies.“

Sept. 2007: Asterion Technology Revealed in Nature Medicine

Peer-reviewed evidence showing that Asterion's platform technology has great potential for new therapeutics has been published in the internationally renowned and highly respected journal Nature Medicine.