Munich, March 15, 2012 — NOMAD Bioscience GmbH, Munich, Germany (NOMAD) and its wholly owned subsidiary Icon Genetics GmbH, Munich, Germany (ICON) have entered into a broad cross-licensing agreement.
NOMAD has acquired ICON from Bayer Innovation GmbH on December 31, 2011. During 1999–2012 since its incorporation, ICON has developed a number of plant-based manufacturing technologies. Many of the technologies are relying on transient expression in green plants. During the time since its inception (2008), NOMAD has developed new technologies that also take advantage of transient expression in plants.
Both NOMAD and ICON continue active research and development efforts around essentially similar manufacturing platform, and there is a lot of potential synergy in combining their existing technology solutions, as well as joining their future research efforts.
At the same time, the two companies service different markets. Whereas ICON pursues biopharmaceuticals and animal health proteins markets, NOMAD has positioned itself in the areas of agronomic traits, biomaterials, bioenergy and food safety.
Effective March 15, the two companies have agreed to license each other in their respective market areas. The cross licensing deal includes their past intellectual property rights (to the extent allowed by other earlier commitments of the two companies), as well as future inventions. The material aspects of the cross-licensing agreement have not been disclosed.
Prof. Dr. Yuri Gleba, CEO and founder of NOMAD and co-founder of ICON, said: ”The deal creates a powerful IP portfolio of more than 50 patent families including over 380 issued patents that rivals the portfolios of major plant biotech companies. It is by far the best IP control package in the area of transient expression in plants. Both NOMAD and ICON will enjoy multiple benefits from this joint exploitation of their IP, and they will certainly be able to pursue their respective business markets more aggressively.”
NOMAD is a private biotechnology company developing agronomic traits and plant-made biomaterials that address critical unmet needs. NOMAD’s proprietary technologies further improve the upstream part of the manufacturing process, but they also provide for novel downstream solutions that together with the proprietary and in-licensed upstream components result in a fully integrated manufacturing process for most of NOMAD’s intended products. NOMAD’s agronomic trait pipeline is being developed jointly with a major partner. NOMAD’s biomaterial pipeline consists of several selected product candidates, including plant-made cellulase enzymes (expected impact: up to 30 percent lower manufacturing cost of bioethanol), and antimicrobial proteins, including colicins, lysins and bacteriocins (unmet needs in food safety and animal health).
ICON is a wholly owned subsidiary of NOMAD. 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 pipeline includes products developed for Bayer Innovation (individualized anti-cancer vaccine for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, currently in Phase I clinical trials) as well as several ‘biobetter’ anti-cancer antibodies (pre-clinical stage).