A Medical Device Daily

MIV Therapeutics (MIVT; Vancouver, British Columbia), a developer of next-generation biocompatible stent coatings and drug delivery technologies, reported that it has exercised an option agreement with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to license two additional technologies for advanced biocompatible and drug-eluting coatings for cardiovascular stents and other medical devices.

Financial terms of the licensing were not disclosed.

The licensing comes following the company’s announcement of the licensing of two other proprietary technologies from UBC relating to the use of hydroxyapatite (HAp) medical device coatings.

“Together,” MIVT said, “these four recently licensed technologies considerably broaden and intensify the company’s research and development initiatives toward the creation of unique and improved solutions for biocompatible and drug-elution products in the multibillion-dollar medical device industry.”

Alan Lindsay, CEO, said, “Expansion of our worldwide exclusive licensing rights to these HAp coating technologies licensed from the University of British Columbia puts MIVT in a firm position to explore the superb biocompatibility and drug-eluting properties of HAp as a coating of choice for cardiovascular stents and other medical devices.”

All four technologies involve applications of HAp, a ceramic material with biocompatibility in a range of studies, according to the company, as well as in already-commercialized dental and orthopedic products. It said that the new license would complete its exclusive rights to advanced methods developed under its research agreement with UBC. The patent applications will be filed with the U.S. patent office, it said.

Animal testing of the HAp biocompatible drug-eluting cardiovascular stents will begin by the end of the year, the company said.

MIVT’s R&D program for hydroxyapatite-based drug delivery systems received a grant from the National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) last December.

The first of these two patents applications, “BioPolymer-BioCeramic Composite Coatings and Process for Making the Same,” discloses a process in which porous HAp coatings are combined with bio-polymer for improved functionality. The coatings can be used as drug delivery vehicles for the controlled release of the bioactive agents on implanted medical devices. The other application, “Process for In Situ Synthesis of Organo-Ceramic Composites,” describes a similarly innova-process for nano-scale synthesis of bioceramic such as HAp with organic compounds such as biopolymers or drugs, resulting in homogenous nano-composites suitable for tissue engineering, coatings, and controlled drug delivery.

Dr. Tom Troczynski, vice president of coatings at MIVT and professor of ceramics at UBC, authored the two applications.

“From its earliest concept stage, the HAp coating technologies were conceived and developed by MIVT as a multi-platform solution,” Troczynski said. “The two new technologies for bioceramic-biopolymer composites with capability to provide controlled, gradual drug release will bring to market fundamental advantages that other coating technologies do not offer.”

The company in March purchased SagaX Medical Technologies (Herzliya, Israel), a company developing embolic protection technology for applications in treating stroke patients (Medical Device Daily, March 22, 2005).

In other financing news, Hemosol (Toronto) reported that it has filed articles of amendment for the consolidation of the company’s common shares on the basis of one post-consolidation share for four pre-consolidation shares. The share consolidation was approved by shareholders at Hemosol’s annual meeting earlier this week.

The consolidation is intended, the company said, to bring it into compliance with the Nasdaq’s minimum bid requirements. It said that retaining that listing “is of strategic importance, given [our] large U.S. shareholder base, as well as the importance of maintaining ready access to the U.S. capital markets.”

Hemosol said it expects its common shares to begin trading on a consolidated basis on the TSX and Nasdaq “on or about” June 10. There will be a temporary change to its Nasdaq symbol to HMSLD for 20 trading days to reflect the consolidation.

Following the shareholder meeting, Hemosol’s board appointed Dr. Paul Walker to the board and named Edward McCormack, currently the chair of the company’s audit committee, as the new chairman of the board. Edward Lane was named to succeed McCormack as the new chair of the audit committee. Edward Rygiel, the outgoing chairman, will remain as a director.

The company also recently reported receiving a “Compliance” rating from Health Canada following the agency’s inspection of its Meadowpine facility. It said this would allow it to proceed with shipping Hepalean products under a contract with Organon Canada (Scarborough, Ontario) and to attract and fulfill other bio-manufacturing relationships. Hemosol said it expects to receive the formal license and to begin shipping “in the coming weeks.”

Hemosol develops biologics, particularly blood-related proteins, oxygen therapeutics and protein-based therapeutics, to treat infectious diseases, cancers and anemia.