ProMetic Life Sciences and NantPharma to develop plasma-derived biopharmaceuticals

NantPharma pays initial US$2.5m to ProMetic

Canadian biopharmaceutical firm ProMetic Life Sciences and NantPharma of the US have formed a biopharmaceutical company called NantPro BioSciences, to develop and commercialise a plasma-derived biopharmaceutical product for the US market.

Under these agreements, ProMetic has granted NantPro BioSciences rights to its Plasma Protein Purification System (PPPS) and Prion Reduction technologies for the exclusive development and commercialisation of a plasma-derived biopharmaceutical product for the US market.

The agreements provide ProMetic with rights to the biopharmaceutical product for markets outside the US, subject to payment of royalties by ProMetic to NantPro arising from ProMetic sales outside the US.

NantPharma has made an initial contribution of US$2.5m to NantPro, which in turn paid all of these funds to ProMetic under the various agreements for NantPro to access the technology rights from ProMetic.

‘Plasma-derived products are urgently needed for the treatment of auto-immune and other diseases,’ said Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman of NantPharma.

‘Safety and reliability are paramount in the manufacture of these products. The combination of ProMetic's state-of-the-art and proven technologies with NantPharma's expertise and resources, will enable us to produce the finest quality plasma-derived therapeutics for this vital market.’

NantPharma has the right to make additional capital contributions in exchange for an increased equity stake. NantPro will in turn use these additional funds to pay ProMetic for the development and manufacturing costs of the plasma-derived biopharmaceutical product. NantPro has engaged ProMetic for the development and manufacturing services, including the production in its Laval facility of cGMP bulk active batches to enable the IND filing and provide product required for bioequivalence clinical trials.

Upon FDA approval, ProMetic will manufacture and supply the commercial requirements of the cGMP bulk active with NantPharma completing the final sterile manufacturing steps, which are expected to take place at its Terre Haute, Indiana facility.

NantPharma is a NantWorks company whose products include high quality, biologically derived pharmaceuticals. NantPharma operates a number of drug manufacturing and research facilities throughout the US. In January 2012, it announced the acquisition and redevelopment of a former Pfizer facility in Terre Haute, Indiana, with a commitment to invest $85.5m to produce critical care injectable and oncological drugs. The new plant is expected to become operational in 2015.