ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. has achieved the first milestone related to the advancement of a plasma-derived biopharmaceutical product targeting a rare medical condition (orphan drug) in partnership with Hematech Biotherapeutics Inc.

The $1-million milestone payment is part of an overall $10-million drug licensing and development agreement concluded with Hematech in May, 2012, of which $1-million was already paid to ProMetic as an upfront fee. The agreement calls for additional milestone payments totalling $8-million, of which $4-million is expected to be achieved over the course of the next 12 to 15 months.

Following the completion of clinical trials and regulatory approval, the orphan drug will be commercialized jointly by ProMetic and Hematech on a global basis (excluding China), with both parties sharing profits equally. The orphan drug will be manufactured by ProMetic in its Laval, Que., facility and in HBI's planned facility in Taiwan.

"We are pleased with the timely achievement of this first milestone. It confirms the potential of our plasma purification manufacturing platform and its related processes to eventually and efficiently produce best-in-class orphan drug products," mentioned Pierre Laurin, ProMetic's president and chief executive officer. "This milestone achievement bodes well for the advancement of other plasma-derived therapeutics currently under development to take place at the future Hematech Taiwanese manufacturing facility," added Mr. Laurin.