Solvay and Berna Biotech sign a license agreement for Aerugen®

Solvay Pharmaceuticals and Berna Biotech Ltd announce today that they have signed a commercialization and license agreement for Aerugen®, a vaccine for the prevention of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) infection in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients. The agreement complements Solvay Pharmaceuticals’ CF product portfolio. Aerugen® has a particularly high value in the treatment of CF patients, for whom PA infection is a major cause of death.

Solvay Pharmaceuticals acquires the exclusive distribution rights for the USA, Canada, Latin America and some other countries.

The vaccine Aerugen® will be developed by Berna Biotech. The product has obtained Orphan Drug designation in USA. Berna will submit the FDA file and the launch in the USA is expected to take place by 2009. More countries will follow subsequently.

Solvay has an established expertise and franchise in pancreatic enzymes with CREON®, which is the most prescribed pancreatic enzyme preparation in the world. It helps to digest food better and avoid malnutrition in patients suffering from pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (PEI), e.g. cystic fibrosis (CF), chronic pancreatitis or after pancreatic surgery.

SOLVAY PHARMACEUTICALS is the pharmaceuticals business entity in SOLVAY.  It is a research driven pharmaceutical company that seeks to fulfil carefully selected, unmet medical needs in the therapeutic areas of cardiology, gastroenterology, mental health and gynaecology/andrology. It currently employs nearly 8000 people worldwide.

SOLVAY is an international chemicals and pharmaceuticals group with headquarters in Brussels. It employs more than 30000 people in 50 countries.  In 2004 consolidated sales amounted to EUR 7.9 billion generated by its three activity sectors: Chemicals, Plastics and Pharmaceuticals. SOLVAY is listed on the Euronext 100 index of top European companies. Details are available at

BERNA BIOTECH LTD (Swiss Exchange: BBIN) develops, produces and markets vaccines and immunotherapeutics for private and public markets world-wide. Headquartered in Berne, Switzerland, with subsidiaries in Europe, and Korea, Berna is a fully integrated vaccines company, employing around 800 people. Berna Biotech’s range of novel and validated proprietary technology platforms supports a strong product portfolio. The company markets its core vaccine products in the field of hepatitis B, pediatric, respiratory and travel vaccines and has a focused development pipeline. Development is supported through alliances with academic and commercial partners. Further information on Berna:

Note to the editor:
Progressive lung disease is the predominant cause of illness and death in people with cystic fibrosis. Mucus blocks the airway passages and results in a predisposition toward chronic bacterial infections. The most common bacterium to infect the CF lung is Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (PA), a Gram-negative microorganism with a propensity to live in warm, wet environments. The lungs of most children with CF become colonized (inhabited long-term) by P. aeruginosa before their 10th birthday. The body’s response to PA includes inflammation, which causes repeated exacerbations or episodes of intense breathing problems. Although antibiotics can decrease the frequency and duration of these attacks, the bacterium establishes a permanent residence and can never be completely eliminated from the lungs.

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