Nanohale AG and Rostechnologies Sign Memorandum to Set up Joint Venture

Within the framework of an international collaboration in the area of innovative technology, Nanohale AG and the Russian state-owned holding company Rostechnologii signed a memorandum of understanding regarding future collaboration. The memorandum of understanding envisions the formation of a joint venture in which Nanohale AG would hold a 50 percent interest. With the formation of the joint venture, Rostechnologii will pledge to support the realisation of altogether five development projects with an initial financing volume of 40 million USD. The memorandum was signed by the board members of Nanohale AG, Dr. Friedrich-Wilhelm Steinweg, M.D., and Dr. Nicolas Combé, as well as by Andrey A. Murdasov, authorised representative of Mr Peter Kanigin, the Deputy Managing Director of RT-Biotechprom AG, which is a member company of the state-owned holding company Rostechnologii. Other members included the project’s initiators, Prof. Dr. Andrey V. Zverev, Head of the Trade and Commerce Office at the Russian Embassy and Envoy of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to the Federal Republic of Germany, and Dr. Bertrand Malmendier, a Berlin-based attorney and Chairman of the Centre for Social-Conservative Politics in the European Union that is operated by the United Russia party, as well as representatives of the administrative district Archangelsk.

The joint venture is to be legally set up before the end of November through the payment of a first tranche in an amount of 500,000 USD. The role of Nanohale AG within the cooperation will be that of a know-how carrier. The idea is to deploy a highly innovative patent-protected technology pioneered by the company for the nasal administration of medicines using biodegradable nano-carriers and nano-products that bear active substances. The new method would be both more effective and easier to absorb. Future research would also seek to develop inhalative applications to marketability.

"We are very pleased that an agreement on a collaboration with Nanohale AG as innovation leader in this area has already been reached in the early phase to the carrier system’s development. Together, we will seek to obtain the market approval as swiftly as possible," said Andrey Murdasov of RT-Biotechprom AG. Dr. Friedrich-Wilhelm Steinweg is fully convinced that the market is ready for the product: "Bio-pharmaceuticals are by far the fastest-growing class of medicines, with a global market volume that recent forecasts predict to increase from 70 billion USD to 100 billion USD by 2012. This class of medicines will be substantially enhanced by our nano-carriers, because a better active substance level, superior compliance and negligible side effects obviously translate into added value."

Prof. Dr. Andrey V. Zverev considers the cooperation of the two companies as ground-breaking: "The development projects are deemed lighthouse projects for the closer cooperation of the two countries, and are given priority treatment by the Russian government." Dr. Bertrand Malmendier emphasised the importance of the knowledge transfer and the economic perks: "Russia and Germany have long laid a viable foundation for growth and development, not least owing to development projects such as this one in the area of medical research. The German economy benefits enormously from Russia's efforts to help shape tomorrow's markets: A close cooperation of the two countries will not only improve the mutual trust but also open up new markets in Asia along with the vast Russian market for German entrepreneurs."

The collaboration with Rostechnologii will initially seek to advance the development projects insulin and calcitonin - used to treat diabetes or Morbus Sudeck and osteoporosis, respectively - toward the marketability stage. Pre-clinical, clinical and bioequivalence tests for the approval of the carrier systems would be conducted during the next step. The joint venture will enable Nanohale AG to generate substantial sales as early as the approval period.

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About Nanohale AG
Based in Dortmund, Germany, and founded in 2007, Nanohale AG develops nano-particle systems for the formulation of active substances. The focus is on active substance approved for parenteral application for which alternative pharmaceutical forms either do not exist at all or are marked by grossly inferior bioavailability. Nanohale's research and development activities have so far mainly focused on proteins and peptides.

The state-owned company Rostechnologii was created through a decree by the President of the Russian Federation in November 2007 to support the development, production and export of industrial high-tech products. It serves as holding company for more than 550 companies from a variety of industries. One of these is RT-Biotechprom, a member company of Rostechnologii formed in 2009. RT Biotechprom is active in the pharmaceuticals industry, as this sector provides the greatest potential for innovation and therefore represents the company's key sphere of activities.