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KEYCODE BAYER #121

February 17 2004

PPL tidies up loose ends with Bayer

PPL Therapeutics has formally dissolved its partnership with the German drug giant Bayer, whose decision last year not to commercialise rAAT - PPL's lead product - signalled the beginning of the end for the erstwhile biotech pioneer.

The pair have signed a termination and licence agreement relating to rAAT, a product extracted from the milk of genetically-modified sheep aimed at treating hereditary emphysema and similar types of lung diseases.

Under the agreement, Bayer gains access to the intellectual property necessary to restart the rAAT project at a later date, for congenital deficiency, cystic fibrosis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. PPL retains the rights to the intellectual property for rAAT in other fields.

The cashless transaction sees Bayer and PPL release each other from "all obligations and liabilities" under their now-defunct partnership. Bayer has retained the right to restart the rAAT programme, while PPL will not have any further involvement in the programme nor any obligations to Bayer in respect of the programme or the arrangements that are the subject of the agreement.

In recent weeks, PPL has sold East Mains Farm in East Lothian to Dalkeith-based Britbree for £800,000, and St Clements Well Farm, at Tranent, for £660,000.

PAUL ROGERSON, The Herald