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QLT announces co-development and licensing agreement with Retinagenix for early stage ocular synthetic retinoid program
Wednesday April 5

VANCOUVER, April 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - QLT Inc. announced today that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide co-development and licensing agreement with Retinagenix, LLC, to develop active synthetic retinoid products for the treatment of degenerative retinal diseases.

Under the terms of the agreement, QLT will be responsible to develop and commercialize the products for use in ocular and all other human diseases. Retinagenix will participate in research in support of the co-development collaboration and be eligible to receive an upfront payment of US$1.5 million, and payments upon achievement of certain development, approval and sales milestones as well as a single digit royalty on net sales.

"We are very excited to make this announcement today," said Bob Butchofsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of QLT. "This collaboration is the first step forward in our strategy to access, develop and commercialize promising new technologies in the eye, which is QLT's core area of therapeutic expertise. We plan to progress the first drug candidate from the Retinagenix collaboration into the clinic within the next 18 months."

"Degenerative diseases of the retina affect many people worldwide and lead to varying degrees of irreversible blindness," said Marco Northland, Chairman of Retinagenix. "We believe that administration of a synthetic retinoid could reverse the defects in the retinoid cycle in patients. We believe QLT's expertise in retinal diseases and drug development, provide a strong foundation for a successful collaboration."

About Synthetic Retinoid Drugs

Synthetic retinoid drugs use biochemical strategies for restoring visual function in retinal degeneration as well as aging retina. Genetic diseases in the eye such as Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) and Retinitis Pigmentosa arise from gene inactivation and subsequent disruption of a metabolic pathway. These same pathways are adversely affected in the natural aging process and may play a role in aging visual deficits including age-related macular degeneration. Retinagenix's pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that orally administered synthetic retinoid drugs, cause long-lasting restoration of retinal function.

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About Retinagenix, LLC

Retinagenix is a privately held early stage Seattle, WA based company, developing and commercializing synthetic retinoids for treatment of retinal diseases. Retinagenix, a spin-off of the University of Washington, was co-founded in 2004 by David A. Saperstein, MD and Krzysztof Palczewski, PhD, two internationally recognized leaders in the treatment of retinal diseases and biochemistry of vision, respectively, and Marco A. Northland a seasoned entrepreneur.

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Source: QLT Inc.
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