CollPlant Holdings Ltd. (TASE: CLPT) has signed an agreement to supply CollPlant's recombinant human collagen, derived from tobacco plants, to Hawaii-based Cellular Bioengineering Inc. for use in its synthetic cornea implants. Cellular Bioengineering will pay CollPlant for the collagen and royalties on future sales of its product that use, if any.
CollPlant will supply collagen to Cellular Bioengineering on the basis of non-binding forecasts during the first year of the five-year agreement, and binding annual forecasts for minimum deliveries from the agreement's second year. CollPlant will give Cellular Bioengineering an exclusive worldwide license to use the collagen in artificial corneas, and limited to this use. The agreement can be extended.
CollPlant CEO Yehiel Tal said, "This is a breakthrough. The advantages of synthetic corneas based on CollPlant's collagen are the absence of an immune reaction because no donor material is involved, there is no risk of transmitting a disease from a cornea donor to the patient, and the production costs of artificial corneas are much lower than the cost of a cornea from an organ donor. We envision artificial corneas as an off-the-shelf product, without the need for eye banks or the production of corneas from donors, at a cost of $2,000 per unit. The shelf life of an artificial cornea will be higher than the shelf life of donor corneas, and implants will be possible without the need for the special infrastructures necessary to support the supply of corneas from donors."
Tal added, "This is our first agreement following negotiations for the commercial supply of collagen to a company that develops and manufactures collagen-based products. It meets our strategic targets for 2012. Contracts of this kind fit in with our business model and long-term strategy, which include the marketing of CollPlant's products, the joint development of products with foreign strategic partners, and contracts for the supply of CollPlant's collagen."
Today's agreement follows an agreement that CollPlant signed with Cellular Bioengineering subsidiary Eyegenix Inc. in February 2012.
CollPlant's share price rose 15.8% by mid-afternoon, following the announcement, to NIS 0.52, giving a market cap of NIS 70 million.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 30, 2012
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