BioDiem Limited (ASX: BDM) is an Australia-based listed biotechnology company with a focus on developing and commercialising vaccine and infectious disease therapies. The strength of BioDiem’s global partnering network is a key advantage of the Company. Its partners (the WHO and the NIH among others) are world-leading institutions that have in some cases facilitated BioDiem’s access to major markets (e.g. China and India).
BioDiem’s strategy is to grow a diverse vaccine business. It currently earns revenues through licensing of LAIV influenza vaccine technology to Indian and Chinese partners.
BioDiem is also leveraging its existing LAIV technology to develop as a viral vector, and through acquisition of new technologies, to boost the breadth of potential disease targets. The SAVINE (scrambled antigen vaccine) technology was acquired in December 2011, and in June 2012, BDM acquired an exclusive licence for a flavivirus-based technology (with a dengue fever target) and a hepatitis vaccine technology. In 2012, BioDiem also signed an agreement with RMIT University to investigate the use of LAIV to create new non-influenza vaccines. Recently, BioDiem announced the successful collaboration with French-based vaccine development company VIVALIS to test the production of its LAIV technology in VIVALIS’ cell line.
In parallel to the LAIV technology commercialisation, BioDiem is developing BDM-I, a novel compound which has shown impressive and broad activity in screening studies against a range of pathogenic micro-organisms including bacteria, fungi and protozoa. The continued rise in antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria such as the deadly MRSA, and the increasing problem of clinical fungal infections, have led to significant interest in compounds which may address the lack of treatment options. Patents for BDM-I have been granted in both the US, Europe and Japan. Other disease indications being developed for BDM-I include dangerous difficult-to-treat invasive fungal diseases, and the chronic parasitic infection schistosomiasis which affects millions worldwide. BioDiem has another program, in ophthalmology.
BDM-E another novel compound was discovered in Russia, and has been successfully used in some Russian clinics for the compassionate treatment of eye diseases. In September 2010 BioDiem received Orphan Drug designation from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for BDM-E for the treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa. BDM-E is currently the subject of a research collaboration with US organisation, The Foundation Fighting Blindness, at the Kearn Family Center for the study of Retinal Degeneration, headed by Dr. Matthew LaVail at the University of California, San Francisco. BDM-E is being developed for outlicensing in line with BioDiem’s strategic focus on infectious disease.