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Barr Ellison Solicitors – commercial property
24 August, 2006 - 11:15 By Staff Reporter

Cambridge set to benefit as ProMetic prepares for IPO

ProMetic Biosciences Ltd (PBL), the Cambridge firm behind a unique ligand technology that filters Mad Cow Disease and other pathogens from blood and blood plasma, is preparing for a London float this year.

The company is set to take control of operations from parent ProMetic Life Sciences (PLS) following a restructuring that gives it independence in management, funding operations, attracting investment and developing specific products and services.

The new independence, strengthened by an AIM-listing, will make Cambridge and the UK the main focus for the firm’s operations and growth rather than Montreal.

PBL’s new chief executive, Steve Burton, has been recruiting senior management and directors in preparation for the IPO.

The reorganisation includes passing PLS’s stake in Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Techn-ologies Inc (PRDT), a joint venture between ProMetic and the American Red Cross to PBT.

The other main arm of the new PBT operation will be based around the firm’s bioseparation business, based on applications of PBL’s unique and proprietary Mimetic ligand technology.

Mimetic ligands are synthetic chemical structures that selectively bind to proteins to remove or reduce pathogenic proteins, such as prions – e.g. mad cow disease.

PRDT’s first prion filter, MacoPharma, is expecting to receive CE mark approval very soon followed by a commercial launch within weeks. It addresses a potential market of $500m (£260m) and faces limited competition over the next several years.

PBL will assume responsibility for licensing activities in the “biogenerics” pharmaceutical sector, a market opportunity exceeding £5 billion. However, the strategy going forward has been revised to include licensing the technology to companies with established manufacturing and marketing capabilities.

Discussions with several such companies are well underway for a variety of near term concrete projects and PBL is also working very closely with the UK’s blood agencies who are interested in their filter device.

PBT’s stock market ambitions will also have been boosted by a £9.5m licensing deal with Nabi Biopharmaceuticals.

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