Press release

11/12/2012

Spanish companies Vivia Biotech and Ferrer will develop a new drug for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and other hematologic cancers

Madrid and Barcelona, December, 11th of 2012. The biotechnology company Vivia Biotech, which has developed a new platform for drug repositioning, and the pharmaceutical Ferrer have signed an agreement to develop a new therapy for the treatment of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and other blood cancers.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma represents 4% of all cancers and is the most frequent among all the hematologic cancers. There are more than 150,000 new cases each year only in the United States, Europe and Japan.

At the moment, there is a segment of patients who do not tolerate current therapies, so “there is an urgent need for new drugs that provide different and safer mechanisms of action”, says Joan Ballesteros, President and Scientific Director of Vivia Biotech. Therefore, the discovery that an already well known drug, which is being used safely by millions worldwide, can be also used for other indications under certain conditions, “allows a strategy that shortens the arrival time of drugs compared to conventional approaches” he added.

“This agreement will allow us to extend our strong presence in the hospital sector, strengthen us in the field of oncology and get it through an ambitious project that we think will have a very positive impact on the treatment and quality of life of the patients”, says Jordi Ramentol, CEO of Ferrer. Besides, Andres Fernandez, Director of the Innovation Area of Biotechnology in Ferrer, said that the agreement with Vivia Biotech “reinforces Ferrer´s collaboration strategy with national and international biotechnology companies as a key factor for the company’s future growth and expansion into new high value therapeutic areas.”

“The alliance with Ferrer Internacional is a strong support for the already developed research in Vivia Biotech and demonstrates the potential of our drug for the treatment of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma,” said Andres Ballesteros, CEO of Vivia Biotech. “This important agreement with Ferrer supports the expectations of the market and our investors,” he concludes. Vivia Biotech has closed this year a financing round of EUR 7.25 million.

Vivia Biotech

Vivia is a Spanish biotechnology company which is pioneer in the “screening” or analysis of the effect of thousands of combinations of drugs directly into a patient sample (such as blood) in less than 48 hours – an innovative research of Biology Systems, completely “translational” -.

Vivia Biotech focuses its operations in the area of hematologic cancers such as Leukemia, Lymphoma or Multiple Myeloma, researching and developing new treatments. The company also develops personalized medicine test, which are able to predict the patient’s response to possible treatments, identifying the most effective treatments for each patient and avoiding the administration of toxic and ineffective high cost medications.

Ferrer

Ferrer is an international group that operates in different fields such as pharmaceutical, hospital care, diagnosis, fine chemistry and food. Its turnover in 2011 – over € 800 million – positions Ferrer as one of the Spanish largest pharmaceutical groups, with strong prospects in terms of growth. Ferrer is an integrated organization that operates in more than 90 countries throughout all the value chain (R & D, commercialization, industrial manufacturing of raw materials and finished products, and distribution). Recently, Ferrer’s strong commitment to R & D has led the company to strengthen its strategy in collaborations and partnerships with public research groups and biotechnology companies, creating a specific area for this purpose that develops high value-added projects.

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