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Provectus Biopharmaceuticals reaches global license agreement with University of Miami for photodynamic antimicrobial treatment of eye infections with rose bengal sodium


A new Provectus spinout company would commercialize combination therapy of the university’s light source medical device and its pharmaceutical-grade rose bengal sodium.

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/yganko)

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/yganko)

Provectus Biopharmaceuticals Inc announced it has entered into an agreement with the University of Miami for the exclusive worldwide license of the university’s intellectual property related to photodynamic antimicrobial therapy (PDAT) for treating bacterial, fungal, and parasitic (acanthamoeba) infections of the eye.

According to a news release, under the agreement, Provectus would form a majority-owned start-up company in which the university would be a minority equity shareholder, aimed at developing and commercializing the University’s PDAT medical device in combination with a formulation of the Company’s proprietary pharmaceutical-grade rose bengal sodium (RBS) active pharmaceutical ingredient. Provectus would contribute the license to the new entity and have an exclusive RBS supply arrangement with it.1

Rose bengal PDAT emerged under the leadership of Jean-Marie Parel, IngETS-G, PhD. FARVO, director of the Ophthalmic Biophysics Center (OBC) at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Parel and the OBC team and have spent many years advancing their PDAT technology using rose bengal against different types of treatment-naïve and -resistant keratitis. The OBC has established the merits of its innovation through extensive in vitro testing, pilot in vivo safety and clinical studies, and the scrutiny that comes with numerous peer-reviewed publications and medical conference presentations of rose bengal PDAT’s methodology, datasets, and results. BPEI’s rose bengal PDAT is also the subject of two international randomized, double-masked, clinical trials for acanthamoeba and fungal (NCT05110001) and bacterial (NCT06271772) keratitis.1

“Rose bengal PDAT is the result of a lot of hard work by cross-disciplinary contributors at the University of Miami,” Parel said in the news release. “Seeing our team address the challenges of infectious keratitis in such an innovative way is very rewarding. We look forward to working with Provectus to deliver this groundbreaking treatment to patients worldwide.”

Guillermo Amescua, MD, professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Medical Director of the Ocular Microbiology Laboratory, and board-certified ophthalmologist at Bascom Palmer, highlighted the need for treatment options.

“The OBC’s innovation is sorely needed globally because infectious keratitis is the leading cause of corneal blindness in resourced and under-resourced countries,” he said in the news release. “It is exciting to take something from the lab, apply it to clinical practice, and see patients getting better.”

Moreover, Ed Pershing, chairman of Provectus’s Board of Directors said the company is pleased to continue the collaboration with Parel, Amescua, and the OBC team, and to enter into the license agreement.

“Bascom Palmer’s more than 2-decade recognition as the preeminent US eye care center underscores the potential impact of this medical innovation,” he concluded in the news release. “We look forward to working with Bascom Palmer and the OBC to reduce or eliminate the risk of blindness and impaired vision from eye infections for millions of people around the world through the promise of rose bengal sodium PDAT.”

  1. Inc PB. Provectus Biopharmaceuticals Announces Exclusive Worldwide License Agreement with University of Miami for Photodynamic Antimicrobial Treatment of Different Eye Infections with Rose Bengal Sodium. GlobeNewswire News Room. Published March 27, 2024. Accessed March 28, 2024. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2024/03/27/2853087/0/en/Provectus-Biopharmaceuticals-Announces-Exclusive-Worldwide-License-Agreement-with-University-of-Miami-for-Photodynamic-Antimicrobial-Treatment-of-Different-Eye-Infections-with-Rose.html
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