Luna Strengthens its Position in Nanomedicine
Tego Biosciences is acquired by Luna Innovations
ROANOKE, Va., Dec 29, 2009 — Luna Innovations Incorporated (NASDAQ: LUNA) has acquired certain intellectual property assets of Tego Biosciences, its main competitor in developing medicines based on carbon nanomaterials. Tego Biosciences, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arrowhead Research Corporation (NASDAQ:ARWR). This acquisition integrates the patent assets of the two leading companies and provides Luna a dominant intellectual property portfolio in carbon nanomaterial-based pharmaceuticals.
“We are pleased to add Tego’s portfolio of intellectual property to enhance our exciting program in nanomedicines,” stated Dr. Kent Murphy, Chairman and CEO of Luna Innovations. “The acquisition of Tego’s fullerene assets for use in pharmaceuticals demonstrates Luna’s continued commitment to novel therapeutics using carbon nanomaterials to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases that address significant markets such as arthritis, allergies and asthma. In addition, Luna’s technology is being used to improve diagnostic imaging by developing agents targeted to reveal brain cancer and plaque on arterial walls.”
With this acquisition, Luna’s intellectual property portfolio for carbon nanomaterials now includes seven owned patents, 10 licensed patents and 44 U.S. and foreign applications. In addition, Luna acquired the research programs Tego has sponsored in radiation protection, anti-viral therapies and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. Luna also acquired Tego’s license to The Bronx Project (TBP), a program for developing new medicines based on carbon nanomaterials for Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. As a result of this transaction, Luna and Tego will equally share in the net proceeds from activities related to the TBP license.
Luna has had an ongoing program to identify novel therapeutic candidates based on the unique properties of carbon nanospheres since 2003. These nanospheres, called buckminister fullerenes, must be chemically modified to make them compatible with living tissues. During this work, Luna has made a number of discoveries, funded in part by government contracts and awards. Luna’s business strategy for developing pharmaceutical products is to form partnerships with established companies to underwrite the expensive development programs.
“Tego accrued the combined fruits of most of the pioneering research on fullerene therapeutics that have been discovered over the last decade. Combining these assets with our own discoveries provides Luna with extensive intellectual property covering therapeutics based on carbon nanomaterials,” said Dr. Robert Lenk, President of Luna’s nanoWorks Division based in Danville, VA. “Our combined patent portfolio consists of 61 patents and pending applications covering classes of fullerene derivatives, methods for synthesizing these compounds and treatments for specific diseases. This acquisition strengthens our position in carbon nanomaterial-based nanomedicines and opens additional markets to attract potential partners as we move forward.”
About Luna Innovations & Luna nanoWorks:
Luna Innovations Incorporated (www.lunainnovations.com) develops and manufactures new-generation products for the healthcare, telecommunications, energy and defense markets. Our products are used to measure, monitor, protect and improve critical processes in the markets we serve. nanoWorks (www.lunananoworks.com) is a division of Luna Innovations housed in a world-class nanomaterial manufacturing facility in Danville, VA, where scientists are developing pharmaceutical products empowered by nanomaterials with applications in diagnostics and therapeutics.
Forward Looking Statements:
This release includes information that constitutes “forward-looking statements” made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding, but not limited to (i) Luna’s intellectual property portfolio in carbon nanomaterial-based pharmaceuticals, (ii) the use of carbon nanomaterials to treat inflammatory diseases and to improve diagnostic imaging, (iii) scientific discoveries, (iv) strategy for developing pharmaceutical products, and (v) potential commercial markets for Luna’s products. Statements that describe the Company’s business strategy, goals, prospects, opportunities, outlook, plans or intentions are also forward looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, without limitation, the enforceability of certain patent rights, the failure of certain patent application claims to issue, problems with the use of certain nanomaterials to treat diseases or improve imaging, other scientific issues, and the failure to find partners to commercialize certain technologies, and risks and uncertainties set forth in the company’s periodic reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such filings are available at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov/ and at the company’s website at http://www.lunainnovations.com. The statements made in this release are based on information available to the company as of the date of this release and Luna Innovations undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this release.
Luna Innovations Incorporated
Dale Messick, 1-540-769-8400