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Opthea Signs Cell Line Development Commercial License Agreement with Selexis SA for Wet AMD Product

GENEVA, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Selexis SA, a serial innovation company focused on drug discovery for lead identification and cell line development for scale-up and manufacturing of therapeutic protein drugs announced today that Opthea Pty Ltd has entered into a commercial license agreement with Selexis covering the use of the CHO-M Cell Line and related technologies for the production of OPT-302 (formerly VGX-300), an Fc fusion protein for the treatment of wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD).

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OPT-302 is a soluble form of human VEGFR-3 that blocks the activity of both VEGF-C and VEGF-D, which promote blood and lymphatic vessel formation and are implicated in the progression of eye disease.  OPT-302 is anticipated to enter Phase I clinical studies in early 2015 and is being developed by Opthea, a private, 100% owned subsidiary of Circadian Technologies (ASX:CIR; OTCQX:CKDXY) of Melbourne, Australia.

"Wet" (neovascular) AMD, is a disease characterized by the loss of vision in the middle of the visual field caused by degeneration of the central portion of the retina (the macula). Abnormal growth of blood vessels below the retina, and the leakage of fluid and protein from the vessels, cause retinal degeneration and leads to severe and rapid loss of vision.

"Selexis is excited about the collaboration with Opthea and looks forward to seeing OPT-302 progress to clinical studies in wet AMD patients," said Dr. Igor Fisch, CEO, Selexis SA. "The OPT-302 cell line demonstrates the power of our new technologies for the rapid generation of CHO cell lines expressing high yields of Fc fusion recombinant proteins. We look forward to continuing to work with Opthea."

"The productivity and speed of stable cell line generation with the SUREtechnology Platform™ is playing a key role in quickly progressing our candidate into clinical development," said Dr. Megan Baldwin, CEO of Opthea. "By leveraging the SUREtechnology Platform™, we were able to improve our titers by several fold."

About Opthea Pty. Ltd.

Opthea Pty Ltd is a private, 100% owned subsidiary of Circadian Technologies Limited based in Melbourne, Australia.  Opthea is developing novel biologic inhibitors of VEGF-C driven angiogenesis (blood vessel growth), lymphangiogenesis (lymphatic vessel growth) and vascular leakage for the treatment of ophthalmic diseases.

Opthea's compounds have broad utility in a range of eye diseases characterised by aberrant blood and/or lymphatic vessel growth, vascular leakage or edema, and inflammation, including wet AMD, diabetic macula edema, corneal neovascularisation and transplantation, and dry eye disease.

Opthea's lead compound, OPT-302, is a soluble receptor that specifically and potently blocks the activity of two members of the vascular endothelial growth factor family, namely VEGF-C and VEGF-D that are involved in the progression of both retinal and corneal diseases. Opthea's lead program is the development of OPT-302 for the treatment of "wet" (neovascular) age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD).

For more information:

Please visit Opthea's website at www.opthea.com

Megan Baldwin, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Opthea Pty Ltd
Tel: +61 (3) 9826 0399
Email: megan.baldwin@opthea.com

Opthea Media Enquiries – International
Lauren Glaser
The Trout Group LLC
Tel: +1 215 740 8468

About Selexis SA

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Selexis SA is a global life science company with innovative technologies and world-class expert services for drug discovery, cell line development and scale-up to manufacturing of therapeutic proteins. The Company's SUREtechnology Platform™ is based on Selexis Genetic Elements™ — novel DNA-based elements that control the dynamic organization of chromatin within all mammalian cells and allow for higher and more stable expression of recombinant proteins. Selexis has generated cell lines being used in a variety of programs from drug discovery to late-stage clinical trials. 

For more information: 

Selexis Media Inquiries
Robert Meister
+1 602 953 1716
Email:  robert.meister@selexis.com

Visit http://www.selexis.com 
Follow us on Twitter @selexisSA 
Become a fan at www.facebook.com/SelexisSA

SOURCE Selexis SA

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