CARMIEL, Israel, June 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE-MKT:PLX) (TASE:PLX), announced today that it has entered into a supply and technology transfer agreement with Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (commonly referred to as Fiocruz), an arm of the Brazilian Ministry of Health for UPLYSO™ (alfataliglicerase), the Company's proprietary enzyme replacement therapy for the treatment of Gaucher disease. Gaucher disease is a rare lysosomal storage disorder that affects approximately 10,000 people worldwide.
The technology transfer is expected to take place during a seven-year term and is intended to transfer to Fiocruz the capacity and skills required for the Brazilian government to construct its own manufacturing facility, at its sole expense, and to produce a sustainable, high quality, and cost effective supply of UPLYSO. Under the agreement, Fiocruz has committed to purchase at least approximately US$40 million worth of UPLYSO during the first two years of the agreement. In subsequent years, Fiocruz is required to purchase at least approximately US$40 million worth of UPLYSO per year. Additionally, Protalix is not required to complete the final stage of the technology transfer until Fiocruz purchases at least approximately US$280 million worth of UPLYSO. The agreement may be extended for an additional five-year term, as needed, to complete the technology transfer. All of the terms of the arrangement, including the minimum annual purchases, will apply during the additional term.
"We are excited to be working with the Brazilian government in its efforts to provide UPLYSO to Gaucher patients in Brazil and to collaborate with Fiocruz regarding our plant cell technology," said Dr. David Aviezer, Protalix BioTherapeutics' President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are encouraged by the recognition of our drug and our technology by both Fiocruz and Brazil's Ministry of Health, and believe that this agreement will further establish a reliable supply of treatment for patients living with Gaucher disease."