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Helix Biopharma And Merck Terminate Deal For TIFN Alpha-2b Development Program

Helix Biopharma Corp. (HBP.TO) announced that the company and Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) have agreed to terminate their collaboration under the Material Transfer and License Option Agreement, originally entered into between Helix and a Merck subsidiary in December 2000, for the development of pharmaceutical products containing Topical Interferon Alpha-2b or "TIFN alpha-2b".

The termination of the agreement between Merck and Helix means that Merck will no longer have the option to license Helix's Biphasix technology and phases out Merck's supply commitment with respect to interferon-alpha 2b.

The termination allows Helix to seek alternate suppliers of interferon-alpha 2b to meet supply needs for Helix's planned U.S. Phase II/III and European Phase III clinical trials.

In addition, the termination allows Helix to seek a strategic partner to whom Helix could grant rights to license and commercialize any products developed using TIFN alpha-2b combined with Helix's Biphasix technology.

Helix said it is developing products containing TIFN alpha-2b for the treatment of certain skin/mucosal lesions caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) infections. HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, causing ano-genital warts and cervical dysplasia and is linked to the development of a variety of cancers.

by RTT Staff Writer

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