15 Dec Mentor Licenses Botulinum From WARF and Plans Wisconsin Manufacturing Facility
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) has completed a licensing agreement with Mentor Corporationa California-based publicly traded company (NYSE: MNT), which gives Mentor the exclusive manufacturing and marketing rights to the proprietary botulinum toxin technology developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In exchange, Mentor will pay WARF a royalty on sales of Botulinum toxin products in addition to cash payments at certain milestones in the regulatory approval process.
The Botulinum toxin can heal as well as harm. The bacterial toxin that can paralyze and kill if consumed in contaminated food is now safely used, in a purified form, as a medicine to control certain conditions marked by involuntary muscle contractions, as well as used in its cosmetic application Botox. In patients treated for hemifacial spasm it was noted that facial wrinkling decreased over the treated muscle. These experiences lead to the development of botulinum toxin for the treatment of facial wrinkles.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been the pioneer in the development of Botulinum toxins for over 30 years. The University has developed intellectual property that includes the composition, preparation, purification and characterization of Botulinum toxins of various serotypes, including Types A, B, C, D, E, F and G. Additional patent applications address the treatment of various medical conditions.
Mentor is establishing a dedicated manufacturing facility in Madison, Wisconsin, to produce the licensed products.
“This gives us complete control over our own products for various applications,” said Chris Conway, Mentor’s Chairman and CEO. “Our arrangement with WARF has given Mentor a leadership position in technology and know-how. We expect to begin clinical testing of a cosmetic product in the coming year. We have a next generation product that is considerably purer than currently available toxins. A purer neurotoxin is expected to reduce dosage requirements and adverse reactions.”
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over one million people were treated with botulinum toxin in 2002, making it the number 1-ranked non-surgical procedure performed by plastic surgeons.
“While the best known application of botulinum toxin is cosmetic, we believe that there is even greater potential for treating difficult medical conditions such as spasticity, chronic pain and bladder problems,” said Conway.
In addition to the Botulinum toxin, Mentor expects to initiate clinical studies next year in the U.S. with its new hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler, Hyalite. “This combination gives us the most advanced products in the world for treatment of facial wrinkles,” said Conway.
“We believe that Mentor is the right partner to commercialize all the possibilities of this technology,” said Carl E. Gulbrandsen, Managing Director of WARF. “We are pleased that Mentor is establishing a manufacturing facility in Madison, supporting the local economy and adding to the technology base in the area.”