QUEBEC CITY, Quebec, June 28, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Devonian Health Group Inc. ("Devonian" or the "Corporation") (TSX VENTURE:GSD) and Folia Biotech inc. (‘‘Folia’’) today announce the signing of a non-binding Letter of Intent (‘‘LOI’’) to exclusively negotiate the terms establishing an immune-oncology strategic collaboration focused on the development of FB-631 as an immunotherapeutic platform.
The discussions pertain to form a strategic alliance with Folia Biotech Inc. to develop the technology in cancer immunotherapy. FB-631 is a nanoparticle made of the recombinant coat protein (CP) of papaya mosaic virus (PapMV) self-assembled around as ssRNA that is used as a toll like receptor 7/8 agonist and intended to activate innate immunity and enhance the human anti-cancer immune response. This platform can find applications in cancer immunotherapy as well as in the development of vaccines to infectious diseases.
"We are excited about the potential to work with Folia," said Dr Andre P. Boulet, President and Chief Executive Officer of Devonian. "Folia's cancer immunotherapy, FB-631, has the potential to compete actual Cart-t-cell therapy against solid and non-solid tumors. This product would add another immune-modulator product in our pipeline’’ added Dr Boulet.
"This partnership is a really exciting opportunity to push one step forward the development of our platform technology’ said Dr Denis Leclerc, the founder of Folia Biotech inc and the inventor of the technology. We believe that we will make rapid progress in the treatment of leukemia in children, which will establish our proof of concept in cancer immunotherapy that will lead us to treat other form of cancers".
FB-631 is a nanoparticle platform technology that was showed to trigger innate immunity through the activation of toll like receptor 7/8, two innate receptors that are found in the endosome of immune cells. FB-631 targets specifically TLR7/8 leading to an immune enhancement capable to increase the immune response against cancer. Because this technology is based on the natural substrate (ssRNA) for TLR7/8, it is expected that the treatment based on FB-631 will be safer and more specific which makes FB-631 a real breakthrough in the field.
About the transaction
The completion of the definitive agreements are subject to additional conditions, including but not limited to various board of directors approvals of Devonian and Folia, as well as satisfactory completion of due diligence review by Devonian, third party’s consents on terms satisfactory to Devonian and certain other usual conditions. The completion of the definitive agreements are subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange and all other necessary regulatory approvals. There can be no assurance that the transaction will be completed as proposed or at all.
Folia Biotech inc is a start-up company that was founded in 2006 to developed and commercialize the FB-631 platform technology. Folia has already fully developed the manufacture process of the technology and has completed a phase 1 clinical trial in human infectious diseases. Because the immune stimulation is relevant to many health challenges, Folia is seeking for opportunities in infectious diseases and cancer immunotherapy. Folia’s headquarters are located in Quebec City, Canada.
Devonian Health Group Inc. is a late stage botanical pharmaceutical corporation with novel therapeutic approaches to targeting unmet medical needs. Devonian's core strategy is to develop prescription botanical drugs from plant materials and algae for the treatment of inflammatory-autoimmune diseases including but not limited to ulcerative colitis and atopic dermatitis. Based on a foundation of over 15 years of research, Devonian’s focus is further supported by a US-FDA set of regulatory guidelines favouring a more efficient drug development pathway for prescription botanical drug products over those of traditional prescription medicines. Devonian is also involved in the development of high-value cosmeceutical products leveraging the same proprietary approach employed with their pharmaceutical offerings. Devonian Health Group Inc. was incorporated in 2013 and is headquartered in Québec, Canada where it owns a state-of-the art extraction facility with full traceability ‘from the seed to the pill’. Their recently acquired commercialization partner, Altius Healthcare Inc., brings opportunities for further diversification and growth potential. Devonian is traded publicly on the TSXV Exchange (TSX VENTURE:GSD).
For more information, visit www.groupedevonian.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements about Devonian’s objectives, strategies and businesses that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are “forward-looking” because they are based on our current expectations about the markets we operate in and on various estimates and assumptions. Actual events or results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks affect our business, or if our estimates or assumptions turn out to be inaccurate. Such risks and assumptions include, but are not limited to, Devonian’s ability to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialize value-added pharmaceutical and dermo-cosmeceutical products, the availability of funds and resources to pursue R&D projects, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the ability of Devonian to take advantage of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical and dermo-cosmeceutical industries, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes in economic conditions. You will find a more detailed assessment of the risks that could cause actual events or results to materially differ from our current expectations in Devonian’s prospectus dated April 21st, 2017 under the heading “Risk Factors” related to Devonian’s business. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other reason, unless required by applicable securities laws and regulations.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Dr André P. Boulet, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Devonian Health Group inc.
Telephone: (514) 248-7509