Finnish Biomass Turns Into Health
Raisio, Finland, November 5, 2015
Montisera Ltd (“Montisera” or “Company”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercialising novel therapeutics from its platform, announces that the Finnish Patent and Registration Office has issued Notice of Allowance for the Company’s product Montisera_D4.1, Finnish Application Serial Number FI20126175 A, “Wood hemicelluloses for use in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms and diseases”. Montisera has a pending PCT patent application for the extract. The issued patent is based on applications drafted and prosecuted by Kolster Oy Ab, the leading intellectual property service agency in Finland.
The Company has purchased ownership of the invention and related intellectual property rights from Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster FIBIC Ltd and Åbo Akademi University which covers the use of wood hemicelluloses for use in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms and diseases.
Despite the prevalence and incidence of these diseases and symptoms, there is still a lack of effective treatment. The origin of Montisera’s compound is deep in Finnish nature as it is derived from spruce, the Green, renewable Gold of Finland. ”It is exceptional to have a patent issued for an extract like this; we are proud, of course, of the work done in Finland, in all of the companies involved, and the FuBio program of Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster FIBIC Ltd where the work was originally initiated. There are only a small number of patents globally issued within this area, and now we have one of those”, says Heikki Vuorikoski, CEO of Montisera and one of the inventors of the product.
Lower urinary tract (LUT) diseases cover all diseases that cause lower urinary tract symptoms, including various functional disorders and diseases of the bladder, the prostate and the urethra. Both women and men are affected by LUT symptoms. Roughly, LUT diseases can be divided into bladder- and prostate-related diseases. The most common diseases associated with LUT symptoms related to the prostate in men are prostatitis, an umbrella term referring to several types of prostatitis, such as chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In women, common diseases related to the bladder are interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS) and urinary incontinence.
The prevalence of LUTS is known to increase with age. In men, LUTS are often attributed to histological BPH, which also occurs more frequently with ageing, with a reported prevalence of 50% in men aged 51-60 years, increasing to up to 90% in men aged 80 years or older. European and USA studies have reported a major impact of LUTS on the quality of life of the patient and their partner. Thus there is an urgent need for new compositions for the prevention and treatment of prostate disorders and LUT associated symptoms without the unwanted side effects. Naturally occurring compounds for the treatment and prevention of LUT symptoms have been studied extensively. Plant-derived polysaccharides have been shown to exert biological activities. For example, various hemicelluloses, such as fractions isolated from Aloe Vera, have been proven to exert anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.
Heikki Vuorikoski, founder and CEO of Montisera: “The LUTS are associated with high personal and societal costs, both in direct medical costs as well as indirect losses in daily functioning - the burden on health services is substantial.” Montisera is seeking partners in order to take this potential finding further for the patients’ relief and treatment. “We are currently cooperating with Turku University regarding the mode of the action of the product, and we are delighted to start working with other Finnish specialist companies within the circular economy. Altogether more than ten chemistry and cleantech related companies are located with Montisera in the recently established Smart Chemistry Park, Raisio, Finland. “The role of cooperation within the new business ecosystem is crucial for companies like Montisera that operate on the virtual business model,” says Vuorikoski.
Christine Hagström-Näsi, former CEO of FIBIC and current senior advisor of CLIC Innovation, explains their research strategy as follows: “For Finland, the most important renewable resources are the growing and sustainably managed forest assets. Therefore, Finland has outstanding resources at its disposal to become a pioneer in sustainable development and bioeconomics. In the future bioeconomy, wood and other biomass sources will be used for an even wider array of applications, ranging from paper, packaging and buildings to a broad spectrum of biomaterials and bioproducts. Montisera is one of the forerunners using this strategy to biomass implementation.”
For more information please contact:
CEO Heikki Vuorikoski, tel. +358 40 7562 427
About Montisera Ltd
Founded in 2012, Montisera is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel therapeutics from its own and its partners’ product platforms on a broad range of disease areas. Montisera utilises a novel drug development strategy, emphasising the power of cooperation between drug development companies, biotechnology companies, the academic world, individual scientists and investors. In August 2014 Montisera announced an US patent which covers the use of novel 6,7-disubstituted-isoquinoline derivatives as a medicament, particularly in the treatment of alcoholism, drug addiction and CNS related diseases. Montisera announces that also the European Patent Office (EPO) granted a patent for the novel 6,7-disubstituted-isoquinoline derivatives and medical use thereof.
About CLIC Innovation
CLIC Innovation is an open innovation cluster with the mission of creating breakthrough solutions in bioeconomy, energy and cleantech. CLIC Innovation coordinates R&D&I project portfolios in order to construct systemic solutions that are beyond the resources of individual operators. The cluster is a cross-organizational, fast-moving network. The shareholders of the nonprofit CLIC Innovation Ltd include 30 companies and 17 universities and research institutions. www.clicinnovation.fi
About FIBIC Ltd
Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster FIBIC is one of the six Strategic Centers for science, technology and innovation in Finland (SHOK). The aim of FIBIC is to turn science and technology into sustainable, bio-based solutions. FIBIC combines research and companies for innovative solutions. We believe in a more innovative, resource-efficient and competitive society. We are accelerating Finland to become a pioneer in sustainable bioeconomy. Research programs are the core FIBIC’s activities. Our on-going research programs are related to the development of intelligent and resource-efficient processes, future biorefineries and bioenergy solutions.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect Montisera’s current expectations regarding future events, including statements about whether the subject patent would be issued and adequately protect Montisera against competition, Montisera’s plan to protect the commercial potential of its product candidates, and the future status of pending patent applications. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ materially from those projected herein, and depend on a number of factors, including (inter alia) the success of Montisera’s research strategies, the applicability of the discoveries made therein, the successful and timely completion of uncertainties related to the regulatory process, and the acceptance of products by consumer and medical professionals. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are effective only as of the date hereof. Montisera undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.