Industry News

Ciba Specialty Chemicals to partner with Biosignal Ltd for anti‑biofilm products

Published on 2006-04-07. Author : SpecialChem

Ciba announces the completion of a joint development and licensing agreement with Biosignal, Sydney, Australia to develop novel anti-microbial compounds for consumer and industrial products based upon Biosignal's anti-biofilm technology. Biosignal has granted Ciba an exclusive license in some of Ciba's key markets including plastics, coatings, paints, fibres and paper products.

Biosignal's anti-biofilm technology is based on the discovery that the seaweed Delisea pulchra produces natural furanones that can disable bacteria's ability to colonize.

The formation of biofilms in many industrial environments can lead to fouling, corrosion, material degradation and general contamination. Biosignal's anti-biofilm technology is based on a discovery that the eastern Australian seaweed Delisea pulchra produces natural furanones that disable bacteria's ability to colonize.

Marine fouling is a major problem for waterborne craft around the world and results in significant additional fuel and maintenance costs for operators.

"As a leading producer of antimicrobials for industrial and household applications, Ciba is continuously looking to further strengthen its offer to customers", said Martin Riediker, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Executive Committee of Ciba. "This partnership with Biosignal complements our own research on anti-microbial technologies and two other new partnerships in this field within the last year. We believe this collaboration offers an opportunity to launch the first technology which acts directly on biofilms into some of our key markets, and look forward to working with Biosignal on this project."

"Ciba is an ideal partner because of its strong position in worldwide specialty chemical markets and its chemicals manufacturing experience might play a big role in scale up of low-cost production of Biosignal's anti-biofilm compounds," said Michael Oredsson, managing director of Biosignal. "This is not the company's first consumer and industrial product development collaboration but it is the most important because of the considerable resources that will be devoted to product development and the strength of the agreement."

Development is expected to begin next month and testing will occur at Ciba's laboratories in Basel, Switzerland and at Biosignal's laboratories in Sydney, Australia.

About Ciba

Ciba (SWX: CIBN, NYSE: CSB) is a leading global company dedicated to producing high-value effects for its customers' products. We strive to be the partner of choice for our customers, offering them innovative products and one-stop expert service. We create effects that improve the quality of life – adding performance, protection, color and strength to textiles, plastics, paper, automobiles, buildings, home and personal care products and much more. Ciba is active in more than 120 countries around the world and is committed to be a leader in its chosen markets. In 2005, the Company generated sales of CHF 7.4 billion and invested over CHF 300 million in R&D.

About Biosignal

Biosignal listed on the ASX in April 2004 to commercialize a novel anti-bacterial technology. The first application is reducing risks of infection from contact lenses. Biosignal's anti-biofilm technology is based on a discovery that the eastern Australian seaweed Delisea pulchra produces natural furanones that disable bacteria's ability to colonize. The fundamental problem with existing anti-bacterials, including antibiotics, is their tendency to generate bacterial resistance. Bacteria rapidly produce resistant strains when faced with strong selective pressure by killing agents or growth-inhibitory agents. Biosignal's anti-biofilm technology lulls bacteria to inaction and appears to avoid the problem of bacterial resistance. Biosignal produces synthetic compounds effective on inanimate surfaces such as pipes, membranes and medical devices; and animate surfaces such as lungs, skin and teeth.

Source: Ciba

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