ACCESS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has signed an exclusive, global license agreement with Plasma Technologies LLC for the development and commercialization of its proprietary plasma fractionation process. Concurrently, the company announced a new corporate management team and its intention to strategically refocus and rebrand the company as PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., and its plans to pursue a national listing for its common shares.
Under the terms of the licensing agreement, the Company will pay a license fee of $5 million in a combination of cash and common stock subject to the achievement of certain events, including, a regulatory approval milestone payment in common shares upon the first FDA regulatory approval of a drug derived from the PlasmaTech fractionation process, and a tiered royalty on annual net sales of plasma fractions produced with the proprietary fractionation process.
Upon execution of the agreement, to support the Company’s new strategic positioning, its Board of Directors appointed Mr. Scott Schorer as Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Harrison Wehner as President and Chief Financial Officer of PlasmaTech BioPharmaceuticals, Inc.
“Following the recent completion of the European license agreement for MuGard with Norgine, and receiving FDA Marketing Clearance for ProctiGard, we are pleased to announce the next phase in our corporate development: an important global license agreement and the addition of key senior management to the company,” stated Steven Rouhandeh, Chairman of Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He continued, “The PlasmaTech novel fractionation process can fundamentally change the economic model for the plasma protein therapeutics market, and provides the opportunity for our company to participate in the high-growth area of plasma biologicals. We are rebranding the Company to better align its image with future product opportunities. We thank Jeffrey Davis for his service and look forward to his continued advice and guidance as a director.” The global market for drugs derived from human blood plasma fractionation is currently greater than US$15 billion, and is growing at a rate close to 10% annually. Despite this significant market opportunity, little innovation in fractionation technology has occurred in decades. PlasmaTech has developed and patented a new extraction process for plasma biologics that may fundamentally change the economics of blood plasma fractionation, and makes possible the extraction of several additional therapeutically useful plasma proteins. The Company believes that PlasmaTech’s proprietary fractionation process is expected to significantly enhance yields of key value blood proteins, including alpha-1 antitrypsin, expanding market opportunities while greatly enhancing margins. The Company obtained rights to utilize and sub-license to other pharmaceuticals firms, the recently patented improved methods for the extraction of therapeutic biologics from human plasma. The Company believes that PlasmaTech’s lead product opportunity, alpha-1 antitrypsin (ATT), will offer a low-risk, high revenue, short time-to-market respiratory product (AAT) for treatment of inherited COPD (pulmonary emphysema), among other indications. Additionally, the ability to extract several additional therapeutically useful and important proteins, due to the process being less destructive than historical fractionation processes, may enable the Company to seek new therapeutic applications and address high-value-added orphan indications.
“I am pleased to be joining PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals at this exciting time in its development,” stated Scott Schorer, Chief Executive Officer. “The innovative and disruptive fractionation technology can translate into significant value for shareholders, both directly and through multiple partnering and sub-licensing opportunities. I look forward to working with all of the Company’s stakeholders in maximizing this significant opportunity.” “The base technology of the plasma fractionation business has evolved very little since the original Cohn cold ethanol process, developed in the 1940’s,” stated Harrison Wehner, President and Chief Financial Officer. “The ability to greatly enhance yields of specific proteins using our technology will enable expanded supplies to meet the growing needs of these types of drugs globally. We look forward to working with global plasma fractionators, contract manufacturers and eventually pharmaceuticals companies to implement this proprietary process, produce proteins and drive value for the Company’s shareholders.” Mr. Scott Schorer has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals. He has served over 18 years in a variety of senior management and board positions, including as CEO and President, and has experience in all aspects of operations including research and development, intellectual property, manufacturing, sales and marketing. Additionally, Mr. Schorer has extensive experience as advisor to operating companies, venture capital firms and private equity firms. Previously, he was President, Americas, of Systagenix Wound Management, was President & CEO of Innovative Spinal Technologies, and was Co-Founder, President & CEO of CentriMed. Mr. Schorer served with distinction in the US Army, 82nd Airborne, and holds a B.E and B.A. from Dartmouth College and Thayer School of Engineering.
Mr. Harrison Wehner has been appointed President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Wehner has over 20 years experience in investment banking advising on equity and debt finance and mergers and acquisitions advisory assignments. Previously, Mr. Wehner held various senior banking roles at Canaccord Genuity, CitiGroup, and UBS where he worked on a variety of banking transactions in the healthcare sector, including advisory and transactional experience in the blood fractionation business. Mr. Wehner holds a BA from The College of William and Mary, and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.