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HomeNewsBenchmark announces partnership with HypoPet to bring innovative new cat allergy vaccine to market

1 September 2014

Benchmark announces partnership with HypoPet to bring innovative new cat allergy vaccine to market

Benchmark Holdings PLC, the international animal health, technical publishing and sustainability science business, announces that its Animal Health division has entered into an agreement with HypoPet AG (“HypoPet”).

HypoPet AG (“HypoPet”) is a Swiss research company based at the University of Zurich, for the final commercialisation, manufacture and distribution of a breakthrough vaccine for cats, HypoCat®, which neutralises the Fel d 1 protein, the primary cause of human allergic reaction to cats.

With an estimated 10% of the global population suffering from cat allergies, the agreement between HypoPet and Benchmark is designed to open up a new market within the animal health sector with an estimated global value of £250 million. Benchmark’s world-class vaccine manufacturing facilities in Braintree and Edinburgh, combined with its proven vaccine and process development experience puts it in an ideal position to develop and commercialise this innovative new vaccine.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Company will invest funds of up to CHF12million (£7.9 million) linked to delivery against key milestones, which include the development of the vaccine through to commercial-scale manufacturing, the completion of the licensing processes and final marketing.

The vaccine is the first of its kind and the research of the HypoPet team and proof-of-concept studies have demonstrated its potential to be a unique and effective solution to human cat allergies. Benchmark expects the vaccine to be commercialised within 3-4 years.

The agreement with HypoPet advances the Group’s strategy, as articulated at the Company’s IPO in December 2013, to invest in selected new technologies and opportunities to grow its product offering in related markets at the same time as exploiting its core vaccine production expertise and facilities.

We have always looked for synergistic opportunities that require the support of our skill sets, science and technology base, and our production capacity. The combination of HypoPet’s highly innovative technology with our world-leading manufacturing and distribution experience in the animal health market, make this agreement a ground-breaking next step within the animal medicines and vaccines space.

MALCOLM PYE, CEO OF BENCHMARK

Dr. Gabriela Senti, CEO of HypoPet, said:

“We are delighted to have found Benchmark. They are a highly motivated, skilled and internationally operative partner who will support us in bringing our awarded technology to the global animal health market. The inspiring and supportive environment of the Benchmark team nurtures our dedication to make HypoCat® a success.”