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Genesis Raises $13.8 Million via Private Placement

Genesis Raises $13.8 Million via Private Placement
Six Leading Institutions Back New Zealand Biotech Company

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 26 June 2000 – Six leading New Zealand institutional investors have subscribed for shares in Genesis Research and Development Corporation Limited, as part of a placement that will raise $13.8 million for the country’s leading biotechnology company.

The institutions include Armstrong Jones, Arcus Investment Management, AXA New Zealand Funds Management, BT Funds Management and Guardian Trust Funds Management. Of the total placement of 2.76 million shares at $5.00, 1.76 million shares have already been allocated and will settle on 28 June. Allocation and settlement of the remainder is subject to Genesis’ shareholder approval. The placement was over subscribed.

Of the six institutions who participated in the placement, three already held shares in the company; the remainder were new to its register. The company also placed some shares with two private funds. Post-placement Genesis will have 18,737,011 shares on issue and over 330 shareholders.

The placement, which was arranged by USB Warburg, follows the company’s decision to defer an initial public offering until the directors determined that market conditions were more favourable for a biotechnology listing. At the company’s Annual Meeting, held last month, investors were told that the company was well prepared for an IPO in terms of its world-class validated research, a solid product pipeline, strong collaborations and a history of successfully delivering “milestones.”

“We believe that this endorsement from New Zealand’s leading institutional investors will create an extremely favourable platform for a future listing,” says Dr James Watson, Founder and CEO of Genesis. “Strong institutional support will encourage analysts to follow the company and will lead to a better-informed market as we move to list. The placement was over-subscribed, with higher levels of institutional demand than we were able to satisfy. Moreover, several institutions were extremely interested but unable to participate because the company is not publicly listed.”

The funds raised will be applied to Genesis’ research and development activities. These include the clinical development of its immune therapies for psoriasis and asthma, expansion into eczema, the development of its forestry genomic platform in a new venture with ArborGen LLC and building new databases and technology to secure a foundation in agriculture and horticulture.

Dr Watson says the successful placement gives further evidence of the growing interest from institutional investors in Genesis as a discovery-based biotechnology business with the ability to deliver a range of products with exciting commercial potential.

Andy Coupe, Executive Director at UBS Warburg, said: “The success of the placement demonstrates the attractiveness of Genesis’ investment case, and validates the company’s science programme from a commercial perspective. It also strongly positions Genesis for the next stage of its development, including moving towards its IPO and NZSE / ASX listing.”

John Deakin-Bell, UBS Warburg’s healthcare and biotechnology analyst, says, “Genesis is unusual amongst biotechnology companies in that 80 percent of its research funding requirements are met from existing revenue streams in the form of royalties, research fees and milestone payments. By raising capital now the company can control when to accelerate its research programmes, and how rapidly.

“We believe the near term outlook for Genesis is very positive and view this placement as strongly supportive of the company’s continuing growth plans as it moves into the next phase of its development.”

Dr Watson says the investment represents a major step forward for the company and is a clear vote of confidence in the strength of its research and development programme and the value inherent in its pipeline of products. “We are delighted to have such strong institutional support. As we move forward we plan to secure greater value from our scientific programme to consolidate and build on the growing interest from the investment community.”

About Genesis
Genesis is a biotechnology company based in Auckland, New Zealand, with genomic programmes in human health, forestry and agriculture. Genesis builds EST databases that provide the genomic platform for discovery of novel genes with commercial value and has considerable experience and expertise in high-throughput DNA sequencing, functional genomics and development of therapeutics. Partnerships with biopharmaceutical, agricultural and forestry companies have been important for funding research to effectively develop potential products. In addition to the extensive forestry gene technology, Genesis has a psoriasis therapeutic, PVACTM, in FDA-approved Phase II clinical trials in partnership with the US-based Corixa Corporation, and clinical trials for an asthma therapeutic in Wellington, New Zealand are being planned.
For further information, please contact:
James Watson,
Founder and CEO,
Genesis Research & Development Corporation
Tel: +64 9 373 5600 Andy Coupe
Executive Director
UBS Warburg
Tel +64 9 913 4878 Allan Botica
Botica Conroy & Associates
Tel: +64 21 400 5000

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