Heraeus Medical GmbH signs Exclusive License and Development Agreement with Locate Therapeutics for Orthopaedic Applications

Wehrheim, December 2014 – Heraeus Medical GmbH announced today an agreement with Locate Therapeutics to license the intellectual property surrounding the use of TAOS® in orthopaedic applications and the inception of the first development program in this field. The agreement gives Heraeus Medical GmbH the rights to the future co-developed orthopaedic products as well as the processes involved in manufacturing the final product. Locate Therapeutics has the full capabilities to carry out such development work. The agreement takes the form of a standard upfront and milestone payment structure.

Locate is a specialist regenerative medicine and device company which has been incubated by University of Nottingham. With grant funding and financial assistance from Wellcome Trust and the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) the company has developed TAOS™ a patented platform polymer technology with multiple medical applications. The TAOS (Targeted, Orchestrated Signaling) technology is a world first in tissue repair. It enables the precision focus of therapeutic signals and provides an optimal structure to support tissue repair. Uniquely, TAOS can accommodate and promote the actions of receptor-binding moieties, locally-applied drugs, and emergent biological & cell-based therapies

“Regenerative orthopaedics solutions is an important part of Heraeus Medical`s future portfolio strategy. Locate Therapeutics has the expertise, technical capabilities and intellectual property to allow us to make an accelerated step into this exciting field of medicine and to strengthen our current regenerative product pipeline”, said Dr André Kobelt, CEO of Heraeus Medical GmbH.

Commenting for Locate, Robin Quirk, Director said, “we are delighted to be able to commence our first partnered development program with Heraeus Medical, a company that really understands the needs and opportunities that exist in the regenerative medicine space, as well as having the direct market access to be able to bring these solutions effectively to the patient.”

Medilink Supports Pioneering Tissue Repair Technology

Locate Therapeutics Ltd, a Nottingham based specialist regenerative medicine company has been awarded a grant from the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet, a project delivered by Medilink East Midlands and part‐funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which will allow further development of their TAOS™ technology (Targeted, Orchestrated Signalling) – a world first in tissue repair.

Musculoskeletal diseases affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide and are a leading cause of chronic pain and disability. TAOS™ offers multiple medical applications in the field of advanced tissue repair, with potential benefits in treating spinal conditions such as curvature of the spine and the removal of slipped disks, alongside use in ‘hard to heal’ or nonunion fractures. TAOS™ allows a regenerative, malleable biomaterial to be injected into the site of tissue damage, removing the need for complicated and invasive surgery. Once the treatment has been administered the material stimulates the body’s own repair process before degrading to naturally leave behind newly formed tissue. The process is intended to reduce rehabilitation time and postoperative complications, ultimately improving the patient’s experience.

Locate Therapeutics required further laboratory research and specialist equipment to develop and finetune their biomaterials and surgical procedures, which has been supported by the grant.

Robin Quirk Co-founder of Locate Therapeutics commented:” It will significantly increase the speed at which our scientists can test the stability of the polymeric materials we use, as well as determine the viscosity and setting times of the biomaterials generated – both essential pieces of information for a surgical team administering treatment to a patient.

We have three key projects starting over the next few months, and this will greatly help speed along the development process to clinical trials.”

Dr Neil Barnes, Innovation Adviser, Medilink East Midlands commented:

“Developing new technologies, processes and products is a key aim of the Healthcare and Bioscience iNet initiative, and this is a prime example of how engaging with Medilink can help businesses achieve their aims.

The potential for further development in the field of biomaterials is huge, with associated cost savings for the NHS and benefits to patients who will have a faster recovery time and a much more simple and localized treatment.”

The versatility of the TAOS™ technology means it can also be applied in orthopaedic medicine for precision delivery of antibiotics and drug delivery where controlled sustained release is required. TAOS™ technology is also applicable in numerous clinical disciplines including cardiology, neurology, orthopaedics, dentistry and reconstructive or cosmetic surgery.

European Patent for Injectable Scaffold Delivery System

Locate Therapeutics Ltd (“Locate”), the regenerative medicine and devices company, has received notification that it will be granted a new patent covering its TAOS™ (Targeted Orchestrated Signalling matrix) technology across Europe (European Patent No. 2 125 048). The TAOS™ system provides an optimal structure to support tissue repair, whilst also precisely delivering and promoting the actions of locally-applied drugs and emergent biological & cell-based therapies. Locate’s lead product under development is a dual function tissue scaffold/drug-releasing depot designed for osteoinductive orthopaedic repairs. The broad utility of the TAOS™ platform has also led to a number of partnered development programs in other areas of application.

TAOS™ is designed to overcome the limitations of existing injectables for regenerative medicine applications. The product post-injection has both open macroporosity and mechanical strength, whilst solidifying by a novel, biologically-friendly mechanism. TAOS™ further presents a number of unique advantages for the localised delivery of actives. It is able to facilitate sustained release profiles over weeks to months, and the versatility of the system provides advantages when developing formulations for drugs with narrow therapeutic indices. Its use in cell delivery is intended to improve cell viability and localisation, and to provide control over cell fate. Cells can be pre-attached to the scaffold particles, or entrapped within the solidifying matrix.

Robin Quirk, Managing Director of Locate commented: “This notice of grant further strengthens our existing patent estate around TAOS™. We believe that this expanding portfolio of intellectual property gives Locate a unique position from which we can build a strong identity providing delivery matrices for regenerative medicine applications”.

Heraeus invests in Locate Therapeutics

Precious metal and technology Group, Heraeus Holding (Heraeus), announced today the completion of an equity investment in Nottingham based regenerative medicine platform company, Locate Therapeutics (Locate).

As part of a new strategic initiative to accelerate its product development pipeline Heraeus has been actively seeking enabling technologies and development partners in the burgeoning field of regenerative medicine.

Locate is a specialist regenerative medicine and device company which has been incubated by University of Nottingham. With grant funding and financial assistance from Wellcome Trust and UoN the company has developed TAOS™ a patented platform polymer technology with multiple medical applications. The TAOS (Targeted, Orchestrated Signalling) technology is a world first in tissue repair. It enables the precision focus of therapeutic signals and provides an optimal structure to support tissue repair. Uniquely, TAOS can accommodate and promote the actions of receptor-binding moieties, locally-applied drugs, and emergent biological & cell-based therapies.

Jan Rinnert, Chairman of the Board of Management Heraeus Holding said, “We have been impressed by the scientifically robust way in which Locate has developed and validated TAOS. This is an exciting technology which will enable Heraeus to expand its regenerative medicine pipeline”

Commenting for Locate, Ashley Cooper, CEO said, “We are delighted to have secured an investment from a company that really understands the needs and opportunities that exist in the regenerative medicine field and which is investing for the long term. This gives us great confidence that we will be able to fully exploit the therapeutic and commercial potential of TAOS”.

Founder and CSO of Locate, Professor Kevin Shakesheff, offered an equally upbeat perspective on the investment. “Locate is focussed on clinical problems in which regeneration of human tissue will displace biomaterial or drug therapies in the next decade. With this investment and the continued support of Heraeus we will be able to expedite the commercial development of the most promising and needed regenerative medicine applications of TAOS”.

The financial terms of the investment by Heraeus were not disclosed.