DEBIOTECH ANNOUNCES ALLIANCE WITH BAXTER HEALTHCARE TO DEVELOP DIALYSIS THERAPY SYSTEMS
(May 7, 2004)
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, May 7,
2004 – Debiotech S.A. today announced a strategic alliance
with Baxter Healthcare Corporation to develop renal therapy systems
and technologies. The initial agreement will focus on the development
and marketing of next-generation dialysis systems intended to treat
end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. The companies share the
goal of delivering new technology that will further improve the
performance of dialysis therapy, ultimately making it easier and
more effective for patients and heath-care providers.
"This alliance with Baxter, a leader in the renal care universe
and particularly in the peritoneal dialysis market, is a very important
step for Debiotech’s future,” said Frédéric
Neftel, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Debiotech
S.A. “We are delighted and extremely proud to combine our
efforts with Baxter toward improving the quality of life of renal
failure patients. This agreement, and its long-term potential,
represents a significant recognition for all Debiotech engineers
and partners who
contribute to the company’s development of novel concepts
and ideas becoming breakthrough products. We are looking forward
to working closely with Baxter and hope the relationship will serve
to foster other successful partnerships and collaborations for
Debiotech in the future.”
Under the agreement, Debiotech and Baxter will initially seek
to develop a new dialysis product based on proprietary Debiotech
platforms and technologies. Baxter will manufacture, sell and distribute
the product under an exclusive worldwide license from Debiotech,
with the exception of Japan where alternative arrangements have
already been established.
The two companies will look to partner
on a series of dialysis advancement programs, based on Debiotech
technology platforms and exclusively licensed to Baxter for all
renal replacement therapies. The first agreement will include up
to $18 million in payments to Debiotech (contingent upon achievement
of development, launch and sales milestones), in addition to royalties
of an undisclosed amount.
About ESRD (End-Stage Renal Disease) and Treatments
ESRD is an advanced stage of chronic kidney disease that requires
some form of therapy to replace lost renal function. The incidence
and prevalence of ESRD have doubled in the past 10 years and are
expected to continue to grow. Worldwide, approximately 1.5 million
patients are being treated for ESRD. Two forms of dialysis are
most commonly available to ESRD patients: peritoneal dialysis (PD)
and hemodialysis (HD).
In PD, extra fluids and waste are removed from the blood inside
the body, using the body’s own peritoneal membrane, or abdominal
lining, as a natural filter. In this form of dialysis, blood never
leaves the body. Dialysis fluid enters the peritoneal cavity through
a flexible catheter surgically inserted in the abdomen. Extra fluid
and waste travel across the peritoneal membrane into the dialysis
fluid, which is then drained from the abdomen through the catheter
after a pre-determined dwell period. During HD, blood is removed
from the body through needles inserted into a blood vessel. The
blood is then pumped through a machine containing an artificial
kidney filter called a dialyzer, that cleanses the blood, which
is returned back to the body. Most HD patients receive treatment
at a special dialysis center and typically require four-hour dialysis
sessions three times a week. A team of trained health-care professionals
supervise and deliver therapy during the dialysis sessions.
About Debiotech S.A.
Debiotech S.A. specializes in the research and development of innovative
medical devices in the field of drug delivery systems, drug eluting
stents, electronic infusion systems, dialysis, diagnostics and
imaging devices, implantable drug delivery systems and micro-systems
for insulin and peptide drug delivery. http://www.debiotech.com.
Debiotech has numerous exclusive collaboration agreements with
leading companies in the medical device and pharmaceutical fields.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve
risks and uncertainties, including technological advances in the
medical field, product demand and market acceptance, the impact
of competitive products and pricing, and other risks detailed in
the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
These forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions
made by management of the Company and are believed to be reasonable,
though are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict.
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