PLEASANT, Mich., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Dendritic
NanoTechnologies Inc. (DNT), The Dow Chemical Company
(NYSE: DOW - News), and Starpharma (ASX: SPL, USOTC:
SPHRY) of Melbourne, Australia, have reached an agreement
that provides DNT and Starpharma with ownership or
access to the world's broadest patent portfolio in
the field of dendrimers, and establishes the companies
as leading providers of market-validated nanotechnology
with near-term, tangible commercial applications.
Under terms of the deal, Dow will
assign its entire intellectual property portfolio
and associated royalties in the field of dendrimers
(196 patents comprising 41 patent families) to DNT
in exchange for a significant equity stake in DNT.
Starpharma, which already held a 42% interest in DNT,
will make an additional cash equity investment in
DNT in exchange for exclusive rights to DNT and former
Dow intellectual property for polyvalent, dendrimer-based
"As part of this
agreement, Dow has assigned all of our extensive intellectual
property in this field to DNT," explained Mike
Pirc, manager of intellectual property, The Dow Chemical
Company. "This move consolidates a great amount
of the important intellectual property in the dendrimer
field into one company. It will be very positive for
developing the applications and further demonstrating
the value of this technology."
"Having an investment
by Dow not only highlights DNT's position as a global
leader in nanotechnology and advanced dendritic polymers,
but also means opportunities for the pharmaceutical
and biotechnology markets," said Robert Berry,
chief executive officer, Dendritic NanoTechnologies.
"The fact that Dow is transferring their intellectual
property portfolio in dendrimers to DNT reinforces
that DNT, and our strategic partner Starpharma, are
well-positioned to develop, market and successfully
commercialize these technologies."
Dendrimers are a new
class of nanostructures with physical properties that
make them ideal vehicles for targeting diseases and
delivering drugs to fight them. Dendrimer technology
was first developed at Dow when DNT founder Donald
Tomalia was a Dow employee. Today, DNT has more than
30 patents in dendrimer science, and sells and licenses
more than 200 variations of dendrimers to pharmaceutical,
biotechnology, and diagnostics companies.
DNT's current product
development areas include protein, antibody, and anti-inflammatory
drug delivery technologies for the pharmaceutical
industry; small-interfering RNA (si-RNA) drug targeting
and delivery solutions for the biotech industry; and
new diagnostic solutions for enhancing the findings
of MRIs. With the assignment of the Dow patent portfolio,
DNT will now own the world's broadest intellectual
property position in dendrimer science.
In January 2004, Starpharma
became the first company in the world to initiate
human clinical testing of a dendrimer-based pharmaceutical
(VivaGel(TM) for prevention of HIV) under a U.S. Food
and Drug Administration Investigational New Drug application.
VivaGel was recognized as one of the top five nanotech
breakthroughs of 2004 by the Forbes/Wolfe Nanotech
The deal also positions
DNT and Starpharma as the leading sources of license
rights for dendrimers and as developers of the technology
in their own rights.
very pleased to complete this major deal with Dow
and DNT. In doing so, we are helping to establish
our strategic partner DNT as the premier out-licensing
source for one of the most important fields in nanotechnology,"
commented John Raff, chief executive officer of Starpharma.
"The agreement also significantly strengthens
our own intellectual property position in the area
of polyvalent, dendrimer-based pharmaceuticals."
"Big pharma has
been in big trouble," said Josh Wolfe, managing
partner, Lux Capital. "They've spent investor
money developing drugs with increasingly little returns
and imprecise delivery vehicles. One clear way to
deliver better performance is better delivery of drugs.
DNT's dendrimers fuse biology and chemistry -- marrying
a drug with a 'container' to deliver it precisely
to patients. The Dow patents and expertise will push
this technology closer to market."
About The Dow Chemical
Dow is a leader in
science and technology, providing innovative chemical,
plastic and agricultural products and services to
many essential consumer markets. With annual sales
of $33 billion, Dow serves customers in more than
180 countries and a wide range of markets that are
vital to human progress, including food, transportation,
health and medicine, personal and home care, and building
and construction, among others. Committed to the principles
of sustainable development, Dow and its approximately
46,000 employees seek to balance economic, environmental
and social responsibilities. References to "Dow"
or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company
and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise
expressly noted. For further information, visit www.dow.com.
About Starpharma Holdings
Starpharma is focused
on the development and application of dendrimer nanotechnologies
as drugs against major diseases. Starpharma's lead
dendrimer product, VivaGel(TM) has received clearance
from the U.S. FDA for human clinical trials. VivaGel
is a topical microbicide gel product that has been
developed for women as a preventative against the
sexual transmission of HIV. It is also active in animal
studies for the prevention of other sexually transmitted
diseases including genital herpes and chlamydia. SPL
also has an equity interest in a U.S.-based company-Dendritic
Nanotechnologies Inc. (DNT)-established with the U.S.
pioneer of dendrimer nanotechnology Dr. Donald Tomalia.
Inc. (DNT) is the world's leading developer and provider
of advanced dendritic polymers. DNT has breakthrough
technology that provides the vehicle -- the targeting
and delivery mechanisms -- for a vast array of diagnostic
and therapeutics currently in development in the biotechnology
and pharmaceutical industries. DNT was founded in
2003 on a technology platform discovered in 1979 when
Donald Tomalia, PhD, then a senior research scientist
with The Dow Chemical Company, discovered "dendrimers,"
or dendritic polymers. This new type of nanostructure
(particles so small they allow us to build materials
literally atom-by-atom) hold great promise for real-world
applications such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
Based on Dr. Tomalia's work, Dow was awarded the world's
first dendrimer patents. http://www.dnanotech.com
Source: Dendritic NanoTechnologies Inc.