International Patent Application Submitted Covering Vaccines for Influenza (Universal Vaccine), Hepatitis C,

Thu Jun 7, 2012 7:00am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  OSLO, NORWAY, Jun 07 (Marketwire) -- 
Bionor Pharma ASA (OSLO: BIONOR)

    News Summary 

    The new patent filed 6 June aims to strengthen the Company's general
protection of its peptide based vaccine technology, including four
specific product patents: 


--  Vacc-Flu is a universal influenza vaccine that researchers believe
    could produce long lasting immunity, and be effective for all seasonal
    variations of influenza A.
    
    
--  Vacc-HCV is a vaccine that may be effective both as a therapy and for
    prevention of chronic liver infection. Hepatitis C (HCV) may lead to
    liver failure and liver cancer.
    
    
--  Vacc-CMV is a vaccine for treating cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection,
    which has been associated with inflammatory diseases as well as
    aggravating various cancer forms such as brain tumors and prostate
    cancer.
    
    
--  Vacc-HPV is a vaccine for treating throat and vaginal cancer caused by
    Human papillomavirus (HPV).
    


    

Bionor Pharma ASA (OSLO: BIONOR) announced today that it has
initiated the international patent process for further protection of the
Company's peptide vaccine technology platforms, and for the vaccine
candidates Vacc-Flu, Vacc-HCV, Vacc-CMV and Vacc-HPV. This new peptide
vaccine platform submission complements the two previously filed
technology platform patents covering peptide vaccines designed for
generation of antibody responses and peptide vaccines designed for
generating T-cell responses. 

    All the vaccine candidates are developed from conserved parts (proteins)
of the respective viruses. By applying the platform technology to modify
the peptides, the vaccines are shown to have significantly improved
immune response properties as compared to the corresponding unmodified
(native) peptides.

    The new platform patent is also covering protection of the various
administration regimes connected to the vaccines. Preclinical research is
ongoing for both the influenza and the HCV vaccines.

    About Vacc-Flu 
 Developing a "universal" influenza vaccine has been
difficult because influenza viruses undergo constant genetic mutation.
Vacc-Flu targets conserved regions, the "Achilles' Heels" that are common
to all known Influenza A viruses. The vaccine is designed to provide
long-term protection over several years, reducing deaths and related
illnesses caused by all current influenza A subtypes, as well as future
influenza viruses that may emerge and lead to an influenza pandemic.
Vacc-Flu has shown in animal studies to reduce serious flu symptoms by 25
percent over the standard flu vaccine.

    "The benefits of a universal vaccine far outweigh the current seasonal
vaccine development approach," said Steen Kroyer, CEO, Bionor Pharma.
"The goal is to eliminate the need for researchers to develop annual
vaccines, a challenging process that requires manufacturers to operate on
a tight schedule to meet WHO recommendations." 

    The global market for an influenza vaccine is approximately 250 million
doses corresponding to annual sale of approximately $2 billion to $2.7
billion. Today's influenza vaccines are specific only for one season and
new vaccines have to be developed each year.

    About Vacc-HCV
 Bionor's therapeutic vaccine for hepatitis C, Vacc-HCV
aims to treat chronic HCV infection that affects the liver and may lead
to scarring and cirrhosis with liver failure or liver cancer in advanced
disease. 

    An estimated 150 million people are living with chronic hepatitis C and
between three and four million people become infected per year. Over
350,000 deaths annually are attributed to hepatitis C-related diseases.

    Although new drugs are expected to enter the market, these treatments
will not be without side effects and treatment failures. This opens the
door to even better stand-alone therapy or combination therapies,
including a therapeutic vaccine.

    About Vacc-CMV
 Bionor's therapeutic CMV vaccine targets diseases
associated with cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. Researchers believe that
CMV may not itself be the disease causing agent, but that it aggravates
disease by changing the environment, resulting in a weakened immune
system. Thus CMV may be a contributing factor to inflammatory diseases or
tumor growth. In a number of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid
arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis, active CMV infection
can be detected. In various cancer forms such as prostate, colon, breast
and brain cancer, CMV can be detected in the tumor but not in the nearby
tissue. 

    Vacc-CMV will be developed as a therapeutic T-cell (killer cell) vaccine
for treatment of CMV positive patients with inflammatory diseases or
cancer.

    About Vacc-HPV
 The Human papillomavirus is made up of a group of DNA
viruses in the family Papillomaviridae that infect the skin and mucous
membranes causing genital warts, cervical cancer and a growing number of
throat cancer cases. Worldwide, cervical cancer remains the second most
common malignancy in women, and is a leading cause of cancer related
death for females in developing countries. Company researchers believe
Vacc-HPV will be a therapeutic T-cell (killer cell) vaccine aiming to
complement today's standard of care.

    About Bionor Pharma ASA 
 Bionor Pharma is a leading vaccine company,
listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The Company's investments in
developing therapeutic vaccines exceed US$70 million. 

    Bionor's vaccines are based on the proprietary technology platform
developed following more than two decades of research on peptides. The
vaccines are designed to safely activate each person's immune system to
combat viral diseases. The Company's lead HIV vaccine, Vacc-4x, is being
investigated as a therapeutic vaccine, and has completed a phase 2b
randomized, multinational (USA and 4 European countries), double-blind,
placebo-controlled trial. It produced a statistically significant
reduction in viral load and viral load set point by killing of virus
producing cells.

    Bionor's second therapeutic HIV vaccine, Vacc-C5, is developed to induce
antibodies to HIV that can reduce viral production (lowering the set
point) and the harmful hyperactivation of the immune system that leads to
AIDS. Recently, the clinical phase I/II study with Vacc-C5 was approved
by the Norwegian Clinical Board. Subsequent to the Vacc-C5 phase I/II
trial, Bionor intends to combine Vacc-4x with Vacc-C5, which could form
the basis for both a therapeutic and a preventative HIV vaccine.

    The Company's innovative technology platform is also well suited to
develop vaccines for other viral diseases, including Influenza, HCV
(Hepatitis C), CMV (Cytomegalovirus) and HPV (Human papillomavirus). 

    More information about Bionor Pharma, its research and products, is
available at www.bionorpharma.com. 

    This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to
Section 5-12 vphl
 (Norwegian Securities Trading Act). Vacc-4x, Vacc-C5,
Vacc-Flu, Vacc-HCV, Vacc-CMV and Vacc-HPV are investigational treatments
that have not been approved for marketing by any regulatory authority.

    

Bionor Pharma ASA, Oslo: +47 23 01 09 60
Bionor Pharma laboratories: +47 35 90 85 00
Steen Kroyer
CEO
Birger Sorensen
EVP, Head of Vaccines

USA Contact: 
David Sheon 
202 422-6999
dsheon@WHITECOATstrategies.com 

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