Bionomics to Expand Kv1.3 Program

• Bionomics will accelerate the MS program previously carried out in partnership with Merck Serono
• High priority new commercialisation opportunities including rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis
• Bionomics retains sole worldwide rights to develop and commercialise compounds jointly discovered with Merck Serono

15 June 2012, Adelaide, Australia: Bionomics (ASX: BNO; ADR: BMICY) announced today, that they have decided by mutual agreement with Merck Serono, a division of Merck, Darmstadt Germany, to end their agreement to jointly develop new treatments for MS and other autoimmune candidates based on compounds from Bionomics’ Kv1.3 program.

Bionomics retains sole worldwide rights to develop and commercialise compounds jointly discovered with Merck Serono and intends to accelerate the MS program. It will also pursue a broader range of commercial opportunities for the Kv1.3 program.

CEO and Managing Director of Bionomics, Dr Deborah Rathjen, said “We are taking the opportunity to accelerate the program and to add new Kv1.3 applications including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis and uveitis; in addition to MS.”

“The collaboration identified orally active compounds over which Bionomics retains sole commercialisation rights. Bionomics believes that these compounds offer potential for new treatments in a range of inflammatory diseases and that they present compelling commercial opportunities. The global immunomodulators market size was estimated at US$46.8 billion in 2010.”

“There is considerable commercial interest in Kv1.3 as a target and Bionomics will take advantage of this interest in executing a broader partnership strategy for the program.”

Bionomics’ program targets Kv1.3 which is a key modulator of the immune system and a target found on human immune cells associated with nerve cell damage in patients with MS. Inhibitors of Kv1.3 have been shown to inhibit the proliferation of these immune cells, suggesting they have application in the treatment of MS and potentially other autoimmune conditions such as arthritis and psoriasis.

RA is an autoimmune disease affecting the joints that occurs in approximately 1% of the global population. The prevalence of the disease in the US is forecast to grow to 1.5 million people in 2016.

RA is twice as common in women as in men. The global RA market was estimated at US$9 billion in 2009 and is forecast to grow by 6% annually to reach US$14.3 billion by 2017.

Psoriasis is a chronic, recurring disease that causes the development of raised, reddened lesions on the skin and is estimated to affect 1-3% of the global population. Psoriasis can occur at any age and 20-30% of patients develop psoriatic arthritis. Treatments for psoriasis are one of the fastest growing segments in the global dermatology market and account for about 18% of the market. The psoriasis market was estimated at US$3.4 billion in 2009 and is estimated to grow to US$6.8 billion in 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Bionomics Limited
Dr Deborah Rathjen
CEO & Managing Director
+618 8354 6101 /
0418 160 425
drathjen@bionomics.com.au

Monsoon Communications
Rudi Michelson
+613 9620 3333
rudim@monsoon.com.au

The Trout Group
Lauren Glaser
+1 646 378 2972
lglaser@troutgroup.com

About Bionomics Limited

Bionomics (ASX: BNO) is a leading international biotechnology company which discovers and develops innovative therapeutics for cancer and diseases of the central nervous system. Bionomics has small molecule product development programs in the areas of cancer, anxiety, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.

BNC105, which is undergoing clinical development for the treatment of cancer, is based upon the identification of a novel compound that potently and selectively restricts blood flow within tumours. BNC105 offers blockbuster potential if successfully developed. A clinical program is also underway for the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression based on BNC210, a novel compound which stimulates neurite outgrowth. BNC210 is partnered with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. Bionomics has a partnered program with Merck Serono for new treatments for multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders.

Bionomics' discovery and development activities are driven by its three technology platforms: Angene®, a drug discovery platform which incorporates a variety of genomics tools to identify and validate novel angiogenesis targets (involved in the formation of new blood vessels). MultiCore® is Bionomics' proprietary, diversity orientated chemistry platform for the discovery of small molecule drugs. ionX® is a set of novel technologies for the identification of drugs targeting ion channels for diseases of the central nervous system. These platforms underpin Bionomics’ established business strategy and Bionomics is committed to securing partners for its key compounds.

For more information about Bionomics, visit www.bionomics.com.au

Factors Affecting Future Performance

This announcement contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the United States’ Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements contained in this presentation that relate to prospective events or developments, including, without limitation, statements made regarding Bionomics’ development candidates BNC105, BNC210, its Merck Serono alliance, its licensing deal with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, drug discovery programs and pending patent applications are deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "projects," "forecasts," "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements, including risks related to our available funds or existing funding arrangements, a downturn in our customers' markets, our failure to introduce new products or technologies in a timely manner, regulatory changes, risks related to our international operations, our inability to integrate acquired businesses and technologies into our existing business and to our competitive advantages, as well as other factors. Results of studies performed on competitors products may vary from those reported when tested in different settings.

Subject to the requirements of any applicable legislation or the listing rules of any stock exchange on which our securities are quoted, we disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this presentation.

Monsoon Communications
Level 12 15 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
p: 03 9620 3333
e: info@monsoon.com.au
w: www.monsoon.com.au
 

Posted: June 2012


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