Trillium acquires Arthron Ltd.

Oct 06, 2005, 01:00 ET from Trillium Therapeutics Inc.

    TORONTO, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ - Trillium Therapeutics Inc. (TTI), a
 Canadian biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has acquired all
 assets belonging to Arthron Ltd. Pty. (Arthron), a subsidiary of Prima Biomed
 Ltd. (Prima). Prima, a publicly traded Australian biotechnology company,
 develops technologies in the fields of immunology and cancer immunotherapy
 originating from the Austin Research Institute, in Melbourne, Australia.
     "This acquisition is a major step in executing our strategy of building a
 quality R&D portfolio of cutting-edge immunology-related assets. We believe
 this will create lasting value for our current shareholders and broaden the
 appeal for future investors," commented Dr. Niclas Stiernholm, TTI's CEO.
 "This transaction not only adds three new top level research programs to TTI's
 pipeline, but it also provides us with excellent opportunities to build new
 development partnerships, and allows us to retain and advance several programs
 internally. This acquisition is a well conceived transaction, which will
 transform the company and help move it to the next level."
     Arthron owns or controls a large estate of intellectual property related
 to the activating receptor FcyRIIa, pioneered by Professor Mark Hogarth,
 currently the director of the Austin Research Institute. Arthron has
 demonstrated that this Fc receptor may be an important target in the treatment
 of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and that
 inhibition of this receptor can alleviate symptoms in several disease models.
     The Arthron programs comprise therapeutic approaches employing both small
 molecules and biologics in the treatment of immune-mediated disorders. In an
 effort to maximize shareholder value, TTI will advance some of the programs
 internally while forming partnerships to advance others.
     Dr. Bob Uger, TTI's Vice President R&D, added "The Arthron acquisition
 complements our existing research activities and provides us with an
 opportunity to leverage our immunology expertise to get actively involved in
 the B cell side of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Working in an
 industry driven by innovation, we are particularly pleased to have another
 value-added research partner in the Austin Research Institute, one of
 Australia's premier medical research institutes, and to be able to continue to
 create new and valuable intellectual property." Uger continued, "Our goal is
 to build a company based on strong and compelling science, and Arthron clearly
 exemplifies this."
     In return for all of Arthron's assets, Prima will receive an upfront cash
 payment and TTI common shares representing approximately 5.6% of TTI's
 outstanding share capital. Prima is eligible to receive additional TTI shares
 if certain business development and clinical milestones are met.
     About Trillium:
     Trillium Therapeutics Inc. is a private research and development company
 specializing in innovative therapies that restore balance to the immune system
 in conditions associated with aberrant and harmful immune responses. These
 include autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, graft rejection, cancer and
 chronic viral diseases. The Company identifies early-stage therapeutic
 candidates with promising preclinical profiles and advances these towards
 clinical testing, with the primary objective of demonstrating safety and
 efficacy in humans. TTI currently has two core programs targeting the CD200
 immunoregulatory axis, as well as several exploratory programs. The company
 has a broad network of external academic and industry R&D collaborations,
 including a recent license agreement with a major US biotechnology company.

SOURCE Trillium Therapeutics Inc.