FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

REVIVICOR ANNOUNCES  PURCHASE OF XENOTRANS LTD. ASSETS

 

BLACKSBURG, Virginia:  Revivicor Inc., a world-leading company in the development of therapeutic products derived from pigs for use in humans (xenotransplantation), announced today it has purchased essentially all of the intellectual property and tangible assets of XenoTrans Ltd. (XTL), an Australian company also focused on xenotransplantation technology.  As part of the agreement, Revivicor has acquired, among other assets, all XTL intellectual property (IP) and know-how relating to pig alpha-1,3 galactosyl transferase (“GT”).  Elimination or knockout of the pig GT gene is a critical step for prevention of hyperacute rejection of pig tissues when transplanted into humans.  Revivicor was the first company to clone pigs, and later, was the first company to generate GT negative pigs (“knockout” pigs).  XTL, a spinout company from the Austin Research Institute (ARI), was the exclusive licensee of GT and other xenotransplantation IP from ARI.  ARI has the first issued patents in the United States and Australia for the pig GT gene and its use for the development of GT knockout pigs.  Revivicor, through this asset acquisition, obtains exclusive rights to the ARI GT IP.  As part of this transaction, XTL shareholders will receive a minority equity stake in Revivicor.  Dr. Ian Mckenzie, one of the key inventors on the ARI GT patent and the former CEO of XTL will assume a position on Revivicor’s Scientific Advisory Board.

 

David Ayares, Revivicor’s Chief Executive Officer, stated, “The acquisition of XTL assets, when combined with our IP and expertise in pig cloning technology, positions Revivicor well for successful commercialization of a variety of therapeutic products derived from pigs, including pancreatic islet cells for treatment of diabetes, whole organs such as heart and kidneys, and tissues for medical devices, while providing a solution for the inadequate supply of equivalent human tissues.”

 

Revivicor has been collaborating for the past three years with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (the #1 transplant hospital in the world) on pre-clinical testing of organs from GT knockout pigs in non-human primates.  In addition, the Company has an ongoing collaboration with scientists at Children's Hospital (Pittsburgh), as part of an effort funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), for the development of pig islet xenografts intended to cure diabetes.   

 

Revivicor was formed on April 8, 2003, as a spinout of the U.S. division of PPL Therapeutics Plc, with an investment group lead by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  In addition to its advanced programs in xenotransplantation, Revivicor is developing technologies for treatment of infectious disease using human polyclonal antibodies produced in genetically modified livestock.  The polyclonal antibody platform is supported in part from a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DARPA) for the development of biological warfare countermeasures and by a grant from the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), a division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).