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News Article

Nexia Signs Spinning Deal for BioSteel

Nexia Biotechnologies (Canada) has signed a collaboration agreement with Acordis to develop a fibre spinning process for BioSteel.

A deal has been made for the processing of a spider silk protein expressed in the milk of transgenic goats. The protein, dubbed BioSteel by its manufacturer Nexia Biotechnologies (Canada) is expected to have uses in medical textiles and protective clothing. Acordis Speciality Fibres Ltd will develop a fibre spinning process for the recombinant spider silk protein. This contract is an extension of a current agreement with Acordis Speciality Fibres in which the company was not previously identified. It follows positive results achieved in the initial evaluation of the spinning process development for BioSteel.

Commenting on the deal, Brad Cilley, Vice President Business Development - Medical Devices of Nexia, said, "Spinning BioSteel fibres is on our critical path and Nexia is fortunate to have Acordis Speciality Fibres, a preeminent innovator in medical textiles, as its partner in this effort. We are very pleased with the fibre spinning progress that Acordis Speciality Fibres and Nexia have achieved to date. This progress has given us confidence that we will hit our 2003 milestones: to establish a process by spring of 2003, to develop prototype BioSteel microsutures, and to complete development leading to a regulatory submission by the fall."

At Acordis, Jim Edmonds, Commercial Director, said, "We believe Nexia's BioSteel program to develop new strong biomaterials for possible use in the body is one of the most innovative approaches worldwide. We're pleased to be joining Nexia on the cutting edge of this technology, and are committed to help BioSteel achieve commercial success." Under the terms of the agreement, technical personnel from Nexia and Acordis Speciality Fibres are working together to develop the spinning technology and processes to produce BioSteel fibres building on the information gained from the first phase of the collaboration. That information included investigation of the chemistry of spinning as well as evaluation of various spinning techniques and post-spinning manipulation of the fibres. As part of the agreement, Nexia has also granted Acordis Speciality Fibres a first option to execute a co-exclusive manufacturing agreement.

Nexia is optimistic that BioSteel-based medical devices will have superior mechanical properties with acceptable strength, biocompatibility, and biodegradation. The Company believes that BioSteel-M will be one of the strongest biomaterials available if and when it is licensed for marketing by regulatory authorities. Over the past year, Nexia's product development team has successfully spun prototype fibres which were bundled, dyed, and sterilized for evaluation in the first of a series of biocompatibility tests. Nexia intends to develop a number of medical device products with fibres spun from a commercial process over the next 12 to 24 months including microsutures, surgical meshes for hernia repair, and artificial anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) for knee reconstruction.

Contact: Nexia Biotechnologies Inc., 21,025 Trans-Canada Highway, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC, H9X 3R2 Canada.
Tel: +1 (514) 457 4522
Fax: +1 (514) 457 6151

Article details

  • Date
  • 21 October 2002
  • Subject(s)
  • Awaiting Classification (3)