The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: Dow) and Alchemia (Pty Limited)
today announced that they have entered into a Research and Manufacturing Alliance to develop manufacturing capabilities for
carbohydrate-based pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. This venture encompasses a multi-year Alliance between the two companies to realise
the commercially viable large-scale synthesis of carbohydrates employing Dow’s world-leading large-scale synthesis capabilities and
Alchemia’s cutting-edge proprietary technology. Under the Alliance, Alchemia will receive an up front payment for exclusivity, and milestone
and process improvement payments from Dow. Dow and Alchemia will share profits generated by the Alliance. Financial terms of the
agreement were not disclosed.
Carbohydrates play critical roles in diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disorders, microbial infections, graft rejection and autoimmune
disorders. There are a number of carbohydrate drugs on the market such as heparin, which are extracted from natural sources, however many
potential carbohydrate drugs cannot be sourced naturally. Hence, there is a rapidly expanding interest in the synthesis of carbohydrates as
potential therapeutic, diagnostic and prophylactic agents for a variety of disease states. An important factor responsible for the limited
acceptance of synthetic carbohydrates in pharmaceutical or other markets has been the lack of cost-effective production methods. This has
made the clinical evaluation and use of such compounds cost-prohibitive. Indeed, the breakthroughs in the synthesis of complex carbohydrates
have not kept pace with discoveries elucidating their biological significance. This Manufacturing Alliance is a major step towards overcoming
the commercial hurdles that have hindered the development of carbohydrate-based therapeutics.
"This Alliance combines the strengths of both organizations to meet a need in the market place. Working with Alchemia in the area of
carbohydrate chemistry, Dow will expand its Contract Manufacturing Services capabilities portfolio and allow it to serve the needs of a
growing industry. The background in carbohydrate chemistry provided by Alchemia coupled with Dow CMS’ pharmaceutical manufacturing
capabilities will provide the customer with material and assurance of supply needed for successful product development and
commercialization," stated Mike Fazio, Scientist for Dow Contract Manufacturing Services.
The first molecule targeted for development and production is a trisaccharide that has several different clinical applications including prevention
of Clostridium difficile Associated Diarrhoea as well as prevention of organ rejection in Xenotransplantation. Other targets for development
will be jointly identified by Dow and Alchemia based on market need.
"The Manufacturing Alliance with The Dow Chemical Company illustrates a major commitment on the part of a global chemical leader to
develop manufacturing capabilities to enable the commercialization of carbohydrate-based therapeutics and nutraceuticals. The Alliance is
uniquely positioned to provide the customer with a seamless transition from the initial discovery process right through to supply of a final drug
product or nutritional at a commercial scale" commented Tracie Ramsdale Ph.D., Alchemia’s Chief Executive Officer.
Dow Contract Manufacturing Services (Dow CMS), a dedicated business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, offers a broad range of
technology and business resources, chemical manufacturing capabilities and process development expertise to companies involved with
pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agricultural, specialty chemical and specialty polymer products. Dow CMS operates more than a dozen
integrated manufacturing facilit