QSB Anti-Virulence Platform Inhibits Biofilm Formation by Staphylococcus Aureus MRSA and Candida sp

MELBOURNE, Florida, February 07, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- QuoNova LLC, which is 88.7% owned by XL TechGroup, Inc. (AIM: XLT), has generated preliminary in-vitro data indicating high efficacy of selected Quorum Sensing Blockers ("QSB") in inhibiting biofilm formation by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) strains and fungal organisms such as Candida sp.

QuoNova's business strategy is to develop and commercialize its proprietary QSB "disruptive technology" platform to address unmet needs in several multi-billion dollar markets including therapeutics, medical devices, consumer care, agriculture and several industrial applications.

QuoNova has optimized its proprietary QSB technology to obtain small molecules with a broad activity profile that are effective against multiple pathogenic Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains as well as fungi. These promising results, which are the subject of continuing research, further underscore the potential of QuoNova's QSB in combating the detrimental effects of biofilms, especially in clinical environments, where mixed microbial communities predominate. MRSA bacteria (hospital and community acquired) cause increasing healthcare problems due to their resistance against most conventional antibiotic therapies.

Importantly, QuoNova's QSB technology is an anti-virulence approach, which shows potential to prevent the consequences of infection from such drug-resistant bacteria, without inducing resistance itself. QuoNova recently demonstrated the efficacy of its QSB technology in a predictive animal model where QSBs significantly reduced the ability of clinically relevant bacteria to colonize secondary burn wounds. In addition, a marked synergy with Silver Sulfadiazine (SSD), a commonly used antibacterial preparation, was observed.

"These are promising results which significantly broaden the reach of our platform and further illustrate the impact of QuoNova's QSB technology in combating the detrimental effects of biofilms", said Dr. Heiri Gugger, CEO of QuoNova. "We continue to believe that our QSB platform is a breakthrough technology with wide applicability."

Notes to Editors:

About QuoNova LLC

QuoNova was founded in December 2006 and is the fifth portfolio company of XL TechGroup. QuoNova produces safe, efficacious, anti-virulence agents in the global fight against infection and damage caused by microbial biofilms. QuoNova's business strategy is to develop and commercialize its proprietary Quorum Sensing Blocker ("QSB") platform and introduce a disruptive paradigm of "smart microbial control". QuoNova is targeting multiple multi-billion dollar markets including therapeutics, medical devices, consumer care, agriculture and several industrial applications.

Micro-organisms use chemical signal molecules to communicate and recognize population density (Quorum Sensing) in order to organize their social behaviour, and co-ordinate the production of virulence factors, such as the release of toxins and biofilm formation. Biofilms are complex matrices produced by colonies of micro-organisms, and are very difficult to eradicate as they protect themselves against the immune system or conventional treatments such as antibiotics or biocides. In the healthcare environment they contribute significantly to complications in lung disease and wound healing, to medical device-associated infections as well as to dental plaque and contact lens-associated infection. In the home and in industrial processes they are a major cause of contamination, corrosion and efficiency reductions.

QuoNova's QSB technology disrupts microbial communication systems and by so doing inhibits toxin production, prevents biofilm formation and promotes degradation of already established biofilms. Moreover, research to date indicates that QuoNova's QSB compounds are non-toxic and safe. QSB molecules employ an anti-virulence approach and do not kill micro-organisms, but instead influence their life style to maintain or return them to a state where they can be removed by intrinsic control mechanisms such as the immune system or by treatments much less aggressive than those currently available. This should significantly reduce or eliminate the processes that lead to the development of drug resistant organisms, and differentiates QSBs substantially from conventional antimicrobial approaches. QSB molecules will therefore initiate a new era in preventing the effects of microbial colonization, capable of overcoming the decreasing effectiveness of conventional treatments against biofilms and multi-resistant pathogens.

For further information, see http://www.quonova.com

About XL TechGroup

XL TechGroup is in the business of significant value creation. Working with major international corporate and technology partners such as AES, Procter & Gamble and leading universities, XL TechGroup first identifies global unmet market needs and then targets and exploits these by the systematic creation of successful, disruptive technology businesses. These new companies are built from scratch, and are then managed, developed and funded by XL TechGroup through to the point of a trade sale or a stock market listing.

XL TechGroup's unique and proven methodology selects the best opportunities in order to create one-to-two new companies annually, where each company is expected to achieve a realisable valuation of at least US$400 million within four years from its creation. It is XL TechGroup's aim to deliver significant shareholder distributions at the final exit from each company or from other liquidity events.

    XL TechGroup's companies to date are:

    - PetroAlgae LLC (http://www.petroalgae.com)

    - TyraTech Inc. (AIM: TYR, http://www.tyratech.com)

    - DxTech LLC (http://www.dxtech.com)

    - QuoNova LLC (http://www.quonova.com)

    - AgCert International plc 

XL TechGroup has also established GenXL LLC as a joint venture to capture the value of those prospects that do not fully meet XL TechGroup's US$400 million, four year criteria but still demonstrate considerable potential worth. Over and above XL TechGroup's core business model, GenXL is reviewing a significant flow of opportunities from both XL TechGroup and GEN3 in order to generate new companies, standalone product lines and technology licensing opportunities or an appropriate mix of these.

Posted: February 2008

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