vivoPharm announces agreement with Protea Biosciences Group to acquire vivoPharm

Posted on 07 APRIL 2015 – vivoPharm Pty Ltd (“vivoPharm”) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Protea Biosciences Group, Inc. (OTCQB: PRGB) (“Protea”) for the purchase of vivoPharm Pty Ltd and all of its subsidiaries.
Protea is a West Virginia based company developing the next generation of direct molecular imaging. vivoPharm is a global provider of pharmacology, toxicology and bioanalytical research services, with a portfolio of proprietary oncology models.
vivoPharm, with facilities in Melbourne, Australia and Hershey, Pennsylvania, along with a sales office in Munich Germany, will operate as a business unit of Protea. The combined company will offer a unique, proprietary suite of services and bioanalytic technology for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Ralf Brandt, founder and CEO of vivoPharm, said ”Joining forces with Protea provides a fantastic opportunity to build vivoPharm’s business, and provides a major point of differentiation from other preclinical research services. Because of the opportunities to apply Protea’s mass spectrometry imaging workflows directly to in vivo animal studies, it represents a potential game-changer for the overall pharmaceutical and biotech R&D space.”

Protea’s Chairman and CEO, Mr. Stephen Turner stated, “The combined company will offer a unique, proprietary suite of services and bioanalytic technologies for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. With the combination of our two companies, we are seamlessly integrating revolutionary molecular information technologies with world class oncology models and in vivo testing capabilities, to create new, unmatched and superior services for the preclinical pharmaceutical market.

Mr. Turner also noted “vivoPharm has developed a large standard of care reference database. We believe that this critical asset, together with Protea’s capacity to rapidly generate large molecular databases on tissue samples, and display the data in 2D and 3D localized molecular imaging when applied, will significantly improve the R&D and drug development processes. The combined company will have the unique ability to improve the predictive values obtained in preclinical pharmaceutical research workflows. The combined companies present current and future clients with the opportunity to remove costs earlier in the R&D cycle.”
Consummation of the vivoPharm acquisition is subject to certain conditions, including completion of the necessary financing by Protea. Details of the terms for the acquisition are disclosed in Protea’s Form 8-K Interim Report filed with the SEC on April 6, 2015. Subject to satisfaction of the closing conditions, it is anticipated that the transaction will close by the end of the first half of 2015.

vivoPharm appoints new Director

Posted on 10 MAY 2013: John Lambrick is the General Counsel of RMIT University, based in Melbourne, Australia. The role involves the provision of a wide range of legal services to the university. Being a technology-orientated university, John’s practice has a heavy emphasis on information technology law and intellectual property law .RMIT University has a significant interface with industry, and provides a range of services to industry on a commercial basis.  Since joining RMIT University, John has been involved in university projects including software development and distribution, technology spin-offs, IT system implementations, and the outsourcing of IT services to “the cloud”. Prior to joining RMIT University, John was a partner of Molomby & Molomby, a Melbourne based legal firm (now Middletons) and practised in the areas of finance, corporate law, information technology and telecommunications. John is a regular presenter of conference papers, and is a contributor to legal and industry publications on information technology law and legal department practice.  John holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University and holds a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne.

vivoPharm acquires RDDT

Posted on 11 APRIL 2012: RMIT University and vivoPharm today jointly announced the sale of RMIT Drug Discovery Technologies Pty Ltd (RDDT) to vivoPharm Pty Ltd. As a result of the share based transaction RMIT will become a 20% shareholder in vivoPharm.RDDT is a Good Laboratory Practice (GLP)-compliant pre-clinical toxicology testing company founded and owned by RMIT. RDDT’s operations will continue at the RMIT Bundoora campus, which will become vivoPharm’s Australian headquarters.

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vivoPharm announces new Chairman of the Board

Posted on 26 SEP 2011: Adelaide, South Australia (September 26, 2011) – vivoPharm Pty Ltd is pleased to announce that Ian Nisbet, PhD, MAICD has joined its Board of Directors and has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Board.

Dr Nisbet has over 30 years of drug development, business development and general management experience in the local and international biotechnology sector. He is a founder and partner in the biotechnology consulting company Afandin Pty Ltd; a former CEO/Managing Director of Xenome Ltd and Meditech Research Ltd; and has held senior management positions at Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc, ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals Ltd and CSL Ltd. Ian is Chairman of Verva Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a non-Executive Director of Velacor Pty Ltd and Deputy Director (Commercialisation) at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN).

“vivoPharm has established a successful service business in Australia and is poised to establish its presence in the US. It is an honour to join the Board at this time and I look forward to using my knowledge and networks in the oncology sector to help build vivoPharm into the premier global oncology-focused preclinical contract research organisation” said the newly-appointed Chairman.

Dr Ralf Brandt, vivoPharm’s founder, CEO and Managing Director said “It is a privilege for our company to leverage the networks and experience of someone of Ian’s caliber to help us navigate the very exiting times ahead”.

Dr Brandt also thanked the outgoing Chairman, Mr Brenton Wright (who continues as a non-Executive Director) for his guidance to the company during its formative years.

vivoPharm has recently opened a new facility in Hershey, Pennsylvania which adds to its presence in Adelaide, Australia and Munich, Germany. It also recently announced a strategic alliance with MPI Research, the largest single-site pre-clinical CRO worldwide. As a consequence of these initiatives, the company expects rapid growth in the demand of its pre-clinical services in the North American region.

For more information, please contact Dr. Fernando Felquer, vice president of global commercial development, fernando.felquer@vivopharm.com.

From Compound to Clinic: vivoPharm Takes Operations to the U.S.

Posted on 13 SEP 2011: Hershey, PA. Sept. 13. An official ribbon cutting ceremony marked the opening of vivoPharm’s new American facility, signifying a time of promising growth and new beginnings for the Australian-based contract research organization (CRO).

For nearly a decade, vivoPharm has successfully served the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries from its facilities in Adelaide, Australia and Munich, Germany. Today, the organization is recognized as the fastest growing CRO in Australia with ambitious plans to triple in size over the next three years.

“We are proud to be the fastest growing CRO in Australia and plan to take what we have learned over the past eight years to help new clients in the United States.” Dr. Ralf Brandt, CEO and managing director of vivoPharm, said. “Our success comes from challenging the standards of industry norms by instilling three very basic, yet oftentimes challenging, building blocks into every engagement: trust, flexibility and transparency. When you join these principles with a commitment to delivering projects accurately and on time, you can break barriers into the next generation of preclinical research services.”

The organization plans to utilize its new space as a sounding board for building new business engagements and maintaining strong relationships with existing clients in the U.S.

Partnerships with like-minded, U.S.-based research organizations and academic institutions will give vivoPharm the necessary resources to utilize models that are closer to the clinic and more predictive than what is on the market today.

Among these partnerships, a strategic alliance with MPI Research announced earlier this month, complements vivoPharm’s more than 60 characterized cell lines and specialty oncology models with the oncology and molecular imaging programs developed by MPI Research.

A close working relationship with Penn State Hershey Medical Center, located adjacent to vivoPharm’s new facility at Hershey Center for Applied Research, will provide access to a full staff of researchers to help the organization meet demand during times of great growth.

“With a complete arsenal of new principles, state-of-the-art facilities, top scientists and research resources, we are committed to helping both large pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology startups fulfill peak demand,” Dr. Fernando Felquer, vivoPharm’s vice president of global commercial development, said. “As an organization, vivoPharm is in constant pursuit of the highest level of service, in keeping clients informed and engaged throughout the life cycle of any given project. We’re ready to put these principles and resources to work for new clients within the U.S.”

For more information, please contact Dr. Fernando Felquer, vice president of global commercial development, fernando.felquer@vivopharm.com.

vivoPharm Announces Strategic Alliance with MPI Research

Posted on 1 SEP 2011: Adelaide, South Australia (September 1, 2011) – vivoPharm is pleased to announce a strategic alliance with MPI Research, the largest single-site preclinical contract research organization (CRO) worldwide.

This exclusive agreement joins more than 60 characterized cell lines and specialty oncology models developed by vivoPharm with the oncology models and molecular imaging programs developed by MPI Research. Sponsors of vivoPharm will be able to access the broad range of discovery, preclinical development, and analytical/bioanalytical services provided by MPI Research. In addition to these combined technical capabilities, the alliance between MPI Research and vivoPharm creates a unique Oncology offering, with experience and capabilities to assist Sponsors in early-stage discovery programs through to clinical development and regulatory strategy.

Ralf Brandt, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of vivoPharm, adds, “We are pleased to align with MPI Research as our partner in the oncology, discovery and overall toxicology space. We are excited and enthusiastic about the potential for the future”.

Glenn J Smits, PhD, Vice President of the Discovery Center at MPI Research states, “MPI Research and vivoPharm share a mutual philosophy for continuous development of scientific expertise and a consultative approach with their Sponsors. This partnership allows MPI Research to not only enhance our laboratory capabilities and oncology models but also our overall oncology drug development program management”.

About MPI Research: MPI Research, with global headquarters in Mattawan, Michigan, provides discovery, preclinical safety, bioanalytical, and analytical services to the biopharmaceutical, medical device, animal health, and chemical industries. Scientific knowledge and experience, responsiveness, integrity, trust, teamwork, and dedication to strong and enduring Sponsor relationships are the defining attributes that characterize MPI Research as a high-performance, high-quality organization that is committed to bringing safer and more effective products to the world.

About vivoPharm: vivoPharm is a CRO that offers integrated preclinical services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The company’s varied portfolio of services includes in vitro and in vivo efficacy, safety, toxicology (GLP), pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic analyses. vivoPharm specializes in highly predictive in vivo orthotopic and metastatic xenograft models.The company’s advanced vivarium facilities, laboratories and corporate headquarters are located in Adelaide, Australia. vivoPharm will open its American laboratory and vivarium facility in Hershey, Pennsylvania in September 2011. The company’s global facilities are complemented by a European sales and project support office based in Munich, Germany. vivoPharm operations are GLP compliant and meet the highest industrial standards.

Australian Companies Set Up Shop, Call Hershey Home

Posted on 6 APRIL 2011: Hershey, PA. Nearly 10,000 miles, three oceans and billions of people separate Pennsylvania from major metropolitan areas within Australia. Despite the distance, Hershey Center for Applied Research (HCAR) has emerged as a key resource to international organizations interested in a U.S. facility. This spring HCAR welcomes vivoPharm, its second tenant from Australia in the past two years. vivoPharm is a contract research organization from Adelaide, South Australia that’s setting up shop in Central Pa. to compete with other contract research organizations in the U.S. market.

vivoPharm provides a clinically predictive integrated preclinical services in different disease areas (with focus on cancer) to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. With construction currently underway, vivoPharm plans to occupy 5,800 square feet space of building one at HCAR.

“The opening of our facility in Hershey represents the company’s biggest undertaking since our founding in Adelaide, South Australia almost eight years ago,” Dr. Ralf Brandt, CEO and Managing Director, vivoPharm said. “The size of the U.S. biotech and pharma market, the quality of the research and drug development activities performed in the region and the size and quality of vivoPharm’s future Hershey facility represent inflection points in the development of our company. We are very exited about this opportunity and the future we envision for our facility and the company as a whole.”

vivoPharm joins ide+, also at HCAR, a provider of design and engineering services to companies wishing to develop new products for mass production. ide+ established its North American base in Hershey nearly one year ago, becoming the first international company to open an office at HCAR.

“We chose Central Pennsylvania as our North American base thanks in part to its close proximity to both existing ide+ clients and to a thriving local industry, particularly in the key areas of life sciences and advanced manufacturing,” Richard Sokolov, Director – Product Development said.

Both vivoPharm and ide+ worked closely with Angela Foley, Council of Great Lakes Governors, to establish their new offices in Hershey. Angela worked closely with the Pa. Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and Jack Atchason, HCAR’s Director of Business Development, to facilitate introductions and provide strategic services that helped manage the transition from Australia to Pennsylvania.

“After Dr. Fernando Felquer, vice-president of vivoPharm’s global business development, visited HCAR, we soon realized that the research park and Hershey fulfilled all our requirements in terms of what we needed for our new endeavor in the U.S. After a few weeks of negotiations, the agreements were signed and we started working towards building our business in the region.”

“Our growing, international tenant base is a testament to the economic competitiveness of the state,” Jack Atchason, HCAR Director of Business Development said. “We are thrilled to have vivoPharm as HCAR’s second Australian-based company and look forward to welcoming more international companies looking to establish U.S. operations in Central Pa.”

“International companies making the transition to the U.S. require a lot of support from an operational perspective, and we are proud to provide these services,” Atchason said. “Every company’s needs are different. With vivoPharm, we assisted with incorporation, immigration, recruitment, relocation and financial services, among other areas. This is an active engagement, which will continue as we help vivoPharm grow and prosper in their new space. Our proactive approach is definitely what sets HCAR apart from the other research parks.”

US$1.3M expansion opens US markets to vivoPharm

Based at the Hershey Center for Applied Research in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the company’s new, dedicated U.S. facilities, including laboratory and office space, are expected to open in September 2011.

The financial support, including cash and laboratory fit-out allowances, was obtained from Wexford Equities – developers of the Hershey Center.

“vivoPharm has identified key markets in the United States where demand for its preclinical services targeting the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries is growing,” said Dr Fernando Felquer, Vice President, Business Development at vivoPharm Pty Ltd.

“The new facility at the Hershey Center for Applied Research puts vivoPharm in an ideal position to provide dedicated state-of-the-art services to the biotech and pharma industry not only in the East Coast biotechnology corridor but also to the rest of the United States and Canada.”

The U.S. facilities will add to vivoPharm’s international presence, which has grown since it established vivoPharm Europe two years ago.

“The establishment of laboratories in Pennsylvania takes vivoPharm closer to becoming a global player,” said Dr Brandt vivoPharm’s Managing Director and CEO.

“We first heard about opportunities in Pennsylvania four years ago, when Bio Innovation SA introduced us to Angela Foley, the Pennsylvania investment representative in Sydney.”

“We are delighted to be part of moves to grow bioscience capability in the United States while showcasing vivoPharm’s excellent and globally acknowledged service. We have experienced rapid expansion and are continuing to grow a global, Australian company.”