Healthcare Industry News: hyaluronic acid
News Release - April 23, 2007
Lifecore Biomedical Announces License AgreementCleveland Clinic and Lifecore to Develop Hyaluronan Products
CHASKA, Minn.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--LIFECORE BIOMEDICAL, INC. (NASDAQ:LCBM ) announced today that it has entered into an exclusive license agreement and development agreement with Cleveland Clinic to develop and commercialize hyaluronan-based products and related applications.
Lifecore has licensed a patented hyaluronan-based cross-linking technology that can be used for products in aesthetics, orthopedics, ophthalmology and other medical fields. Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists, under the direction of Principal Inventor Anthony Calabro, Ph.D., have performed preliminary animal studies in several applications with encouraging results.
"The unique combination of features of this family of hyaluronan-based biomaterials may provide patients with relief from a wide range of conditions resulting from disease or injury," said Calabro of Cleveland Clinic's Biomedical Engineering Department. "The novel and important features of this biomaterial are its biocompatibility, versatility and the ability to cross-link in the body. The biomaterial is formed through a chemical reaction, catalyzed by a naturally occurring molecule, which provides a spectrum of formulations that are stable, well-tolerated by the body, and able to mimic the function of a wide variety of tissues, while providing for tissue repair and reinforcement."
Under the terms of the agreement Lifecore will license the technology from Cleveland Clinic and lead the development and commercialization efforts. Cleveland Clinic will continue to research and will conduct preclinical studies.
"We are excited with the opportunity to combine the relative strengths of our two organizations," said Dennis J. Allingham, Lifecore's President & CEO. "Lifecore believes this technology platform provides an ideal strategic fit for us to expand in our existing markets, as well as a means to enter new markets."
The agreement grants Lifecore an exclusive, worldwide license to use the Licensed Technology in all fields to develop, make, distribute, market or sublicense over the term, which is the life of the patents. Given the broad number of applications, Lifecore anticipates that it will sublicense the technology for certain applications while retaining manufacturing rights.
The use of biocompatible dermal fillers has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the field of plastic surgery. The fundamental limitation of the present hyaluronan-based filler technology is related to a relatively short half-life in the body due to naturally occurring degradative processes. Cleveland Clinic researchers have developed a novel cross-linked hyaluronic acid material which appears to show resistance to these degradative processes, thereby providing a longer acting filling agent.
Lifecore indicated that costs associated with this agreement and related development activities in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007 are already reflected in the recently issued guidance.
Certain statements in this release regarding the licensed technology, related product applications, future sales and financial results are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Numerous risks and uncertainties may affect whether such technology actually results in commercialized products. These include product development risks, clinical trial risks, regulatory approval process uncertainties, sublicense negotiation risks, the potential lack of market acceptance of the developed products, introduction of competitive products, and other factors. These risks and uncertainties are more fully described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, and other more recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.
About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,500 full-time salaried physicians at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2005, there were 2.9 million outpatient visits to Cleveland Clinic. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries. There were nearly 54,000 hospital admissions to Cleveland Clinic in 2005. Cleveland Clinic's Website address is www.clevelandclinic.org.
About Lifecore Biomedical
Lifecore Biomedical, in business over 40 years, develops, manufactures, and markets biomaterials and medical devices for use in various surgical markets.
News and general information are available through the Company's website at www.lifecore.com or by telephone at 952-368-4300.
Source: Lifecore Biomedical
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