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Benchmark Hlgs PLC (BMK)

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Monday 01 September, 2014

Benchmark Hlgs PLC

HypoPet Agreement

RNS Number : 4565Q
Benchmark Holdings PLC
01 September 2014
 



 

1 September 2014

 

Benchmark Holdings plc

("Benchmark" or the "Company")

 

Benchmark announces partnership with HypoPet to bring innovative

new cat allergy vaccine to market

 

Benchmark Holdings PLC, the international animal health, technical publishing and sustainability science business, announces that its Animal Health division has entered into an agreement with HypoPet AG ("HypoPet"), a Swiss research company based at the University of Zurich, for the final commercialisation, manufacture and distribution of a breakthrough vaccine for cats, HypoCat®, which neutralises the Fel d 1 protein, the primary cause of human allergic reaction to cats.

 

With an estimated 10% of the global population suffering from cat allergies, the agreement between HypoPet and Benchmark is designed to open up a new market within the animal health sector with an estimated global value of £250 million.  Benchmark's world-class vaccine manufacturing facilities in Braintree and Edinburgh, combined with its proven vaccine and process development experience puts it in an ideal position to develop and commercialise this innovative new vaccine.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, the Company will invest funds of up to CHF12million (£7.9 million) linked to delivery against key milestones, which include the development of the vaccine through to commercial-scale manufacturing, the completion of the licensing processes and final marketing.

 

The vaccine is the first of its kind and the research of the HypoPet team and proof-of-concept studies have demonstrated its potential to be a unique and effective solution to human cat allergies. Benchmark expects the vaccine to be commercialised within 3-4 years. 

  

The agreement with HypoPet advances the Group's strategy, as articulated at the Company's IPO in December 2013, to invest in selected new technologies and opportunities to grow its product offering in related markets at the same time as exploiting its core vaccine production expertise and facilities.

                                                           

Malcolm Pye, CEO of Benchmark, said:

 

"We have always looked for synergistic opportunities that require the support of our skill sets, science and technology base, and our production capacity. The combination of HypoPet's highly innovative technology with our world-leading manufacturing and distribution experience in the animal health market, make this agreement a ground-breaking next step within the animal medicines and vaccines space."

 

 

Dr. Gabriela Senti, CEO of HypoPet, said:

 

"We are delighted to have found Benchmark. They are a highly motivated, skilled and internationally operative partner who will support us in bringing our awarded technology to the global animal health market. The inspiring and supportive environment of the Benchmark team nurtures our dedication to make HypoCat® a success."

 

For further information, please contact:

 


Benchmark Holdings plc

Tel: 020 7920 3150

Malcolm Pye, CEO

 

Roland Bonney, COO


Amy Firth, Head of Communications




Cenkos Securities PLC

Tel: 020 7397 8900

Ivonne Cantu (NOMAD)


Russell Kerr (Sales)




Tavistock Communications

Tel: 020 7920 3150

Catriona Valentine / Niall Walsh / Keeley Clarke


 

 

Forward-looking statements

 

This announcement contains expressed or implied forward-looking statements, including statements that can be identified by terminology such as "will", "may", "could", "has the potential to" or similar expressions.  Forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Company and its Board regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such statements. 

 

Notes to Editors

 

About HypoPet

HypoPet, founded by a team of researchers from the University of Zurich, is developing a vaccine for application on cats which would treat human allergic reaction.  Over 90% of allergenic reactions to cats are caused by Fel d 1, a protein found in the saliva, skin and fur of the animal.  The vaccine reduces the level of Fel d 1 protein by inducing an antibody response in the cat. HypoPet won first prize in the Swiss Technology Awards 2013 (Category: Inventors) for the HypoCat technology.

  

About Benchmark

 

Founded in 2000, Benchmark represents a new model in sustainable business development.  Over the last decade it has built a profitable group of companies on the animal heath market, aquaculture and the economics of a sustainable food chain.  

 

Benchmark is an ethical company with an explicit policy based on the "3E's" definition of a sustainable business - ethics, environment and economics - which guides its strategy and operations.

 

The Group has three divisions:  Animal Health which researches, manufactures and markets medicines and vaccines particularly for aquaculture, Sustainable Science which researches and informs sustainable development in the food industry and Technical Publishing which effects technology transfer through online publishing and education.  Benchmark operates internationally with offices in the UK, Ireland, Norway, USA, Brazil, China and Thailand and, as at 31 July 2014, employs [approximately 210] people.

 

For further information on Benchmark and to download the Company's Admission Document please visit www.bmkholdings.com.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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