OWENSBORO, Kentucky (USA), SAN DIEGO, California (USA) and MUNICH (Germany), May 07, 2012 — Kentucky Bioprocessing, LLC (KBP), Icon Genetics, GmbH (ICON) and Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Inc. (Mappbio) have announced that they have entered into detailed negotiations aimed at merging the companies to create a single, fully integrated biopharmaceutical discovery, development and manufacturing enterprise.
While many details of the proposed merger remain to be finalized, the parties have agreed that any operating headquarters would remain at the KBP location in Owensboro, Kentucky. KBP Chairman/CEO Hugh Haydon would assume the position of CEO of the merged company. Drs. Victor Klimyuk, Larry Zeitlin, Kevin Whaley and Yuri Gleba along with KBP’s Barry Bratcher have all agreed to assume leading positions within the merged company.
The companies have a six-year history of successful collaboration. They have combined the unique intellectual property and research and development capabilities of ICON, the product discovery expertise at Mappbio and the production process development and large scale cGMP manufacturing facilities and know-how at KBP to create a pipeline of monoclonal antibodies and other biopharmaceutical product candidates using a Nicotiana plant-based production system. The combined company’s intellectual property and know-how, R&D and manufacturing capabilities, product pipeline as well as experienced management team will position the merged business as a leading PMP based biopharmaceutical company.
KBP’s Haydon said of the proposed merger: ”With the recent announcement by Protalix of FDA approval of the first plant cell derived injectable biopharmaceutical, we believe that the time is right to more formally integrate the impressive capabilities of each of our companies to fully leverage the speed, flexibility and lower costs associated with our plant-based production system and to aggressively develop several advanced products in our merged pipeline.”
Preclinical results of monoclonal antibody product candidates produced by the companies have shown greater efficacy and efficiency of action than similar products produced through traditional fermentation systems. Leveraging candidates from their existing pipeline the new company would anticipate moving as many as three products into the clinical phase of development within a short time following the merger.
The parties hope to reach a definitive agreement in the coming months. Additional details were not disclosed.
About KBP (www.kentuckybioprocessing.com):
KBP is a world leader in the expression, extraction, processing and purification of biopharmaceutical proteins from plant-based systems. Working with a global network of collaborators, KBP utilizes its technology, know-how and cGMP-capable facilities to produce biopharmaceutical proteins for research and development, as well as for pre-clinical and clinical applications.
About ICON (www.icongenetics.com):
Icon Genetics is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Nomad Bioscience GmbH, Munich, Germany. The company discovers and develops new biopharmaceuticals and high-value protein products using green plants as production hosts. ICON offers new plant manufacturing technologies which address speed, yield, precision, expression control and safety of product manufacturing in plants. ICON operates its own cGMP-compliant manufacturing facility in Halle, Germany. ICON’s own pipeline includes several ‘biobetter’ anti-cancer antibodies (pre-clinical stage).
About Mappbio (www.mappbio.com):
Mapp Biopharmaceutical was founded in 2003 to develop novel pharmaceuticals with an emphasis on monoclonal antibody therapeutics. The company has a strong track record of identifying potent monoclonals and advancing them through preclinical activities with non-dilutive financing. Mappbio’s portfolio consists of products for the prevention and treatment of a range of diseases including C. difficile, Ebola virus, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infections.