Ottawa, ON / ACCESSWIRE / July 10 2014 / Avivagen Inc. (TSXV: VIV), a wellness company developing and delivering products that support and enhance the health and quality of life for animals and the people who care for them, announces it has entered into an option to acquire an exclusive license to a technology for the permanent sterilization of female mammals - that may eliminate the need for surgical spaying.
The invention is a novel and drug-based means of accomplishing this longstanding veterinary goal and could prove effective for companion animal sterilization, control of feral and wild animal populations and certain livestock and human health applications. In consideration of the grant of the option on the technology, Avivagen has agreed to pay all patent application, maintenance and prosecution fees. Avivagen is also bearing the costs of proof-of-concept animal studies.
Many millions of unwanted dogs and cats are born in the world each year and immeasurable suffering could be avoided if a safe, effective and permanent non-surgical sterilization product becomes available. Furthermore, feral and wild animals currently killed to control their numbers would be manageable in a completely humane fashion. Avivagen and the inventor believe the technology should be suitable for use in a single-administration product presentation that would make it appealing to pet owners, animal control organizations and veterinarians.
As an indicative market, United States pet population estimates are available from the American Pet Products Association (APPA). It estimates that there are 83.3 million owned dogs and 95.6 million owned cats in that country and suggests 83% of dogs and 91% of cats are spayed or neutered. Approximately 50% of such animals are female and could benefit from this invention.
Cameron Groome, CEO and President of Avivagen commented on this development "Like our OxC-beta technology, we believe this permanent and non-surgical sterilization technology is unique and potentially revolutionary. If we exercise the option to acquire the license, we are hopeful that it will help animals and their caregivers, while also possibly becoming the largest new veterinary product in a long time."
The inventor is Dr. Duncan Hockley, currently Director of the Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) of the University of Saskatchewan and a person who is dealing at arm's length with Avivagen. The VMC is a state of the art 24/7 emergency and referral animal hospital offering a wide range of clinical services across western Canada and is a centre of excellence for the undergraduate and graduate training programs of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Hockley is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan. He has more than 20 years of experience in veterinary practice, focused on reproductive physiology. The invention was made independent of the VMC and University on a fully-disclosed basis.
Dr. Hockley also offered comment about this technology "If it proves out, I believe this drug-based approach is likely to transform animal care and veterinary practice. In the future, we could have far fewer unwanted pets, simple one-step programs for population control and veterinarians would be able to use their surgical time to help sick animals as opposed to sterilizing healthy ones." Dr. Hockley went on to explain his decision to work with Avivagen to commercialize the invention "Cameron and I have known each other for 15 years and developed a great deal of mutual trust. I believe this invention to be in the best of hands and will be available to support the Avivagen team as they design and complete the necessary proof-of-concept studies."
Avivagen's option to license the technology expires on July 8, 2015. If the option is exercised, Avivagen will receive a worldwide exclusive , irrevocable (subject to rights of termination in certain circumstances) worldwide right and license with the right to grant sublicenses, to the technology in exchange for the issuance of 1,428,571 shares and 5,000,000 warrants to acquire common shares with an exercise price of $0.10 per common share and a term of five years, as well as the payment a royalty of 1% of net sales in excess of $10 million per year on any products that are commercialized using the technology.
About Avivagen Inc.
Avivagen Inc. is a publicly-listed life sciences company trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol "VIV". The Company's goal is to develop and deliver scientifically-proven solutions that can truly benefit companion and production animals by employing natural mechanisms for maintaining good health. Avivagen's targeted markets include Livestock Productivity and Pet Wellness.
The company has sites located in partnership facilities of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) - in Ottawa, Ontario and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. More information can be found at www.avivagen.com.
Avivagen's proprietary and patent-protected technology is based on its discoveries concerning carotenoid antioxidants. The novel natural compounds discovered by Avivagen support the body's own systems to maintain and enhance health, particularly by supporting immune function. Avivagen's commercial-stage application of its technology is Fully-Oxidized beta-Carotene (OxC-beta). OxC-beta compounds occur naturally as carotenoid oxidation products in vegetation, but in minute amounts. They have been developed to support the health of companion animals and for use in the global food animal market.
Research results indicate OxC-beta supports innate immune function, which can help maintain good health. In pets, OxC-beta supports overall vitality and energy, mobility and joint function, skin, coat and gut. Results observed in food animals have included healthier growth, better utilization of feed and decreased mortality. In food animals, it is intended that use of OxC-beta avoids the feeding of antibiotics.
The commercial products of Avivagen are OxC-beta for livestock, Vivamune(TM) Health Chews and Oximunol(TM) Chewables.
About OxC-beta for Livestock
OxC-beta for Livestock is available as a 10% pre-mix sold in 1.0 or 5.0 Kg quantities for parts-per-million addition to animal feeds, in accordance with producer-developed protocols. In past studies, OxC-beta has been shown to support health and growth in species such as fish, chicken, pigs and cattle. OxC-beta for livestock is currently available for commercial sale in the Kingdom of Thailand.
About Vivamune(TM) Health Chews - For dogs and cats
Vivamune(TM) Health Chews, containing Avivagen's proprietary active ingredients, are scientifically-formulated chews for dogs and cats. Vivamune(TM) Health Chews work with a pet's own immune system to maintain overall health and well-being. They are sold in re-sealable packages of 30 chews and are currently available in the United States by ordering on-line at www.vivamunehealth.com.
About Oximunol(TM) Chewables - For dogs
Oximunol(TM) Chewables are scientifically-formulated chewable tablets that contain Avivagen's proprietary, patented active ingredient OxC-beta. OxC-beta has been shown to stimulate innate cellular immunity and may thereby help to maintain overall health and well-being. Oximunol(TM) Chewables are distributed by Bayer Healthcare LLC and are available through veterinarians for dogs of all ages in the United States.
Permanent Non-Surgical Sterilization of Female Mammals
Avivagen has optioned worldwide exclusive rights to a technology for the permanent and non-surgical sterilization of female mammals. A proof-of-concept trial in an indicative species will soon be started in order to demonstrate whether the technology appears to be safe and effective. It is expected that a patent application covering World Trade Organization countries will be pursued and that technological details will be made available when that patent application is published. Further information will be disclosed as deemed prudent or as required.
Forward Looking Statements
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations, which involve risks and uncertainties associated with the business of Avivagen Inc. and the environment in which the business operates. Any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking, including those identified by the expressions "anticipated", "believe", "could", "estimated", "expected", "if", "intended", "likely", "may", "plan", "possibly", "potentially", "should", "will", "would" and similar expressions. Statements about Avivagen's beliefs about the viability and potential future applications of the technology described in the press release, including the novelty, permanency, formulation, dosage, and proposed uses of the technology, whether or not the technology is patentable, and whether or not the technology infringes the intellectual property rights of third parties, statements about the potential markets for the technology and statements about what will happen if Avivagen exercises its option in connection with the technology are all forward looking statements. The forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations of Avivagen Inc. regarding future results or events relating to its business generally and the specific subject matters of this news release. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. The results of further development of the technology may not be positive and Avivagen may not exercise its option to license the technology. If licensed, the technology may not gain the level of market acceptance anticipated by Avivagen or at all. Avivagen assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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SOURCE: Avivagen Inc.