Starpharma, through its US subsidiary company Dendritic Nanotechnologies Inc (DNT), has entered into a worldwide exclusive license and supply agreement with EMD Biosciences, part of Merck KGaA's Performance and Life Science Chemicals division.
Under the terms of this agreement, DNT will supply EMD Biosciences with Priofect™ transfection reagents based on Priostar™ proprietary dendrimers for the DNA and siRNA transfection research markets. Terms of the agreement, which includes royalties and milestone payments, were not disclosed.
DNT's PrioFect™ transfection reagents are part of the US$200 million- market for nucleic acid, DNA and small interfering RNA (siRNA) research.
PrioFect™ transfection reagents are transfection reagents with nanometer-size control, which will enable EMD to offer researchers siRNA transfection reagents with sizes optimized for individual cell lines.
Under this commercial arrangement DNT retains full rights to all in vivo aspects of transfecting nucleic acids with Priostar technology, a market segment that experienced significant deal-making activity 2006.
"The license and supply agreement with EMD Biosciences, the first since Starpharma acquired DNT, is significant because it will lead to the first commercial application of Priostar dendrimers. We are delighted to be working with such an innovative company," said Dr Jackie Fairley, CEO of Starpharma.
"And importantly, the agreement introduces Starpharma as a player in siRNA research, an area that is undergoing rapid growth and seems poised to become a major source of new medicines for many human diseases," Dr Fairley added.
"We are pleased to be working with DNT, a leader in nanotechnology, to develop unique and highly efficient transfection reagents that will be marketed through the Novagen brand of products," stated Lisa Johnson, Vice President of Corporate Development for EMD Biosciences.
"Through our collaboration with DNT, we will provide leading edge technology for a rapidly growing transfection reagent market segment and will utilize the technology as a foundation for future product platforms," said Johnson.