China presentation of BioDiem's liver treatment technology: Researchers successfully establish new system designed to deliver drugs specifically to the liver

Melbourne, 24 October 2013: Australian infectious disease therapy and vaccine development company BioDiem Ltd (ASX: BDM) has announced that a poster showing results from its hepatitis vaccine program, which has successfully achieved an important milestone towards developing treatments for liver diseases as previously announced, was presented at the 2013 International Meeting on Molecular Biology of Hepatitis B viruses in Shanghai, China. This meeting is organized by the Hepatitis B Foundation and is the premier annual international conference on Hepatitis B. The international meeting covers all aspects of the biology of hepatitis B and hepatitis D, as well as the latest developments in antiviral therapies against these two viruses. Attendees include those working in many areas related to viral hepatitis such as research into how to treat infected patients and pharmaceutical companies developing therapies or vaccines related for the disease.

Researchers at the University of Canberra have developed a system designed to target the liver. This could be used to aim drugs or other therapies directly at the liver to treat liver-specific diseases such as viral hepatitis and liver cancer, for example. An advantage of this targeting could be that smaller dosages of currently used therapies could be given to liver-disease patients. This could result in higher cure rates and/or fewer dose-related side effects. As the system has been successfully designed, work is progressing to establish the range of potential drugs or therapies that could be delivered to the liver by this technology. This liver targeting technology is licensed exclusively (worldwide) to BioDiem and is patent-protected.

"The opportunity to present the University of Canberra research at this international conference in China is well-timed as we look to engage with commercial partners to continue the development work of this liver-targeting technology" said BioDiem CEO Julie Phillips.

An estimated 4.4 million Americans and 112 million Chinese are living with chronic hepatitis, most of whom do not know they are infected. Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer (HCC) and the most common reason for liver transplantation. Liver cancer in men is the fifth most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide, and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the world. Over 40 per cent of all cases of HCC occur in the People's Republic of China, which has an annual incidence of 137,000 cases. The global hepatitis market was estimated to be $3,276m in 2009, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.1% between 2001 and 2009. The market is anticipated to reach revenues of approximately US$5,977m by 2016, growing at a CAGR of 9% between 2009 and 2016. The chief reason for its growth is the large chronic carrier hepatitis population primarily Hepatitis B and C.

About BioDiem Ltd
BioDiem (ASX: BDM) is an ASX-listed biopharmaceutical company developing vaccines and antimicrobials targeting treatment and prevention of infectious diseases and related cancers. The lead technology is the LAIV (Live Attenuated Influenza Virus) used for seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines and is given intranasally. A therapeutic hepatitis vaccine project targeting hepatitis D and B is underway at the University of Canberra. BioDiem's antimicrobial, BDM-I, is in preclinical development for fungal and bacterial diseases, also schistosomiasis, tuberculosis and protozoal infections. The SAVINE (scrambled antigen) technology is in development for tuberculosis and also EBV-related disease including nasopharyngeal cancer. BioDiem's retinal product, BDM-E, in development for retinitis pigmentosa is available for outlicence.

About BioDiem's Liver-Targeted Technology
The vector, is based on the Hepatitis D virus (HDV) which is a small, enveloped RNA virus requiring the envelope proteins of a helper virus, Hepatitis B virus (HBV), for further particle formation. HDV can only infect hepatocytes and produce virus particles in cells that are co-infected with HBV. Based on this natural tropism for the liver and the successful generation of replication competent recombinants this should enable the delivery of biologically active molecules to the liver.
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About University of Canberra
The University of Canberra has a dynamic, innovative and collaborative research culture with a focus on applied research in areas aligned with the needs of our local community as well as national and international research priorities. The University of Canberra's researchers deliver breakthroughs that help solve real-world problems, particularly in the areas of governance, environment, communication, education and health.

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Source: BioDiem Limited