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Arrowhead Research Corporation (NASDAQ: ARWR) today announced that its portfolio company, Nanotope, Inc., has entered into an agreement with Smith & Nephew, Inc., a member of the Smith & Nephew plc group (LSE: SN; NYSE: SNN) to develop a cartilage regeneration product for human healthcare markets using a subset of its proprietary regenerative medicine technology.
Under the agreement, Nanotope and Smith & Nephew will work together to optimize a cartilage regeneration product based on Nanotope's proprietary platform. Smith & Nephew will conduct and assume costs associated with preclinical tests required to support clinical trials, purchase preclinical material from Nanotope, and assume all clinical trial costs. Nanotope will potentially receive up to $26.55 million in milestone payments plus sales royalties if all milestones are met.
This represents Nanotope's first commercial transaction and is in line with its strategy to leverage larger companies' development and distribution capabilities within individual target markets. Nanotope's broad proprietary platform is flexible and may be customized to support the regeneration of many diverse tissues. As such, it could lead to the development of a large number of therapeutics. Nanotope's model is to establish many highly focused partnerships incorporating portions of its technology for use in specific indications or tissue types. This is intended to maximize the number of product candidates entering the clinic, increase speed to market, and deploy Nanotope resources efficiently. As a global leader in orthopedics and sports medicine, Smith & Nephew is well positioned to help bring an advanced cartilage repair product to market to provide effective treatment to a condition with large economic and quality of life costs.
"Smith & Nephew is ideal for the commercialization of Nanotope's cartilage repair technology given its global reach in orthopedics and potential synergies of a new cartilage regeneration capability with its suite of existing orthopedic products," said Dr. Christopher Anzalone, Arrowhead's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Smith & Nephew has a solid track record of bringing innovative new products to market, and we view this agreement as a validation of Nantope's technology and business strategy. This deal also represents the achievement of a key milestone Arrowhead has articulated for the last quarter of calendar 2010."
Mark Augusti, President of Smith & Nephew's Biologics and Spine Business unit, commented on the agreement: "We are always searching for alliances with businesses whose technologies address the major unmet needs of our market. Cartilage repair is a clear area of interest to us and we are very pleased to be partnering with Nanotope in this area."
Nanotope's technological platform was first developed at Northwestern University by Dr. Samuel I. Stupp, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, Chemistry and Medicine and Director of the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (IBNAM). Nanotope continues to develop a suite of products, each customized to regenerate specific tissues; including neuronal, vascular, bone, and myocardial. The product candidates, as well as that which is subject to the Smith & Nephew agreement, are injectable compounds that work with surviving cells in and around the point of damage to initiate and support tissue regeneration and growth. Nanotope's other lead products include neuron regeneration for prevention or reversal of paralysis associated with spinal cord injury, advanced wound healing, and the treatment of peripheral artery disease. Nanotope intends to pursue additional partnerships in these and other indications.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon our current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof. Our actual results may differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and uncertainties, including the current state of the economy, capital resources available to us, the future success of our scientific studies, our ability to successfully develop products, rapid technological change in our markets, changes in demand for our future products, legislative, regulatory and competitive developments and general economic conditions. Our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended, and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other SEC filings discuss some of the important risk factors that may affect our business, results of operations and financial condition, including the risks relating to the development of new drug candidates. We disclaim any intent to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.
About Arrowhead Research Corporation
Arrowhead Research Corporation (NASDAQ: ARWR) is a nanotechnology company commercializing new technologies in the areas of life sciences, electronics, and energy. Arrowhead is seeking to build value for shareholders through the progress of majority owned subsidiaries. Currently, Arrowhead has four subsidiaries commercializing nanotech products and applications and minority investments in two privately held nanobiotech companies.
About Smith & Nephew
Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology company with leadership positions in Orthopedics; including Reconstruction, Trauma and Clinical Therapies; Endoscopy; including Sports Medicine; and Advanced Wound Management. Smith & Nephew is a global leader in arthroscopy and advanced wound management and is one of the leading global orthopedics companies. The Company has distribution channels, purchasing agents and buying entities in over 90 countries worldwide. Annual sales in 2009 were nearly $3.8 billion.
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