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Genesis Revenues Up 65% At Half Year

Auckland, New Zealand, 7 August 2001 – Biotechnology company Genesis Research [NZSE & ASX: GEN] today announced revenues for the six months to 30 June 2001 of $12.6 million (2000: $7.6 million), up 65% and a net deficit for the period of $1.7 million (2000 deficit: $4.0 million). At period end Genesis held cash reserves of $51.6 million (2000: $13.1 million).

Expenditure on research and development during the period rose to $ 11.3 million (2000: $8.7 million), up 30%.

“Genesis’ cash reserves are sufficient to fund current and planned research and development activities for several years,” said Chairman David Irving. “In addition, unlike many biotechnology companies, which depend on capital injections until products are commercialised, Genesis is substantially self-funding as the revenue growth shows. Genesis continues to build long term value by developing its patents and databases, gene sequencing expertise, numerous therapeutics and discovery programmes and joint venture partnerships.”

“The period has seen significant advancements in our ability to commercialise biotechnology intellectual property for both the international pharmaceutical industry and plant-based industries,” said Chief Executive, Dr Jim Watson. “Continuing that advancement, we plan to increase expenditure in the second half of 2001 as we expand our clinical trial programmes. We also plan to commit further research funds to new science programmes that apply our genomics capability to targets in therapeutics and plant science.”

Genesis’ Therapeutics Division now has three drug candidates in clinical trial programmes for psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and asthma. In conjunction with our partner Corixa Corporation, the next PVAC™ psoriasis trial to be conducted in the USA is being designed. This will focus on patients whose immune systems have not been compromised by severe immuno-suppressive treatments. The Phase I trial of AVAC™ for the treatment of asthma is nearing completion in Wellington, and a Phase I trial of AVAC™ for the treatment of atopic dermatitis has commenced, also in Wellington. It will run for most of 2001.

The Discovery Division has achieved significant milestones in a number of partner programmes. The forestry team continues to provide substantial research effort for ArborGen LLC, the joint venture between Genesis, Rubicon, Westvaco Corporation and International Paper, developing specific traits for forestry trees. The first phase of the Wrightson EST sequencing project has been completed, yielding what is believed to be the world’s largest forage grass EST database and mirroring the approach Genesis previously used successfully in the forestry industry. The bovine collaboration with AgResearch has also completed its database construction phase and Genesis is now independently mining this wealth of gene information for product development opportunities in human health. Genesis is also pursuing the early commercial targets in joint ventures for the use of BioStore including storage of blood platelets and red cells.

The Genomics Division has invested in new technologies and is now equipped to undertake larger scale automated sequencing projects and provide enhanced bioinformatics capabilities. This has improved Genesis’ ability to build and mine EST databases to find novel genes that have potential commercial value.

Staff numbers have increased from 128 at 31 December 2000 to 143 at 30 June 2001 to meet business plan objectives.

ENDS

About Genesis
Genesis is a New Zealand based biotechnology company committed to the building of a strong genomic platform for the development of innovative products in human health and agriculture. Genesis partners with industry leaders to target products that have global market potential through the mining of its extensive microbe, plant and mammalian EST databases. Genesis has three programs in human clinical development, with additional programs in pre-clinical development and in plant biotechnology. Genesis was founded in 1994 in Auckland, New Zealand. For more information, please visit www.genesis.co.nz.


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