Genesis Acquires 100% Of Biostore NZ Ltd
Genesis Acquires 100% Of Biostore NZ Ltd And First Commercial Licensing Agreement For Biostore™ Is Signed
Auckland, 15 August 2001 - New Zealand biotechnology company, Genesis Research and Development Corporation (NZSE/ASX: GEN), today announced that it had acquired the remaining 23.7% interest in its subsidiary, BioStore NZ Limited, at independent valuation.
“The existing capital structure of BioStore could not adequately support our commercialisation plans,” says Genesis Chief Executive, Dr Jim Watson. “By acquiring the minority interest, Genesis can now provide the support required for the development and commercialisation of BioStore™ products.”
Genesis will issue approximately 230,000 shares and make a small cash payment to the vendors.
BioStore™ is a patented preservation technology which physically induces dormancy in cellular products. This allows cells to be stored at 4ºC or frozen and later thawed without deterioration. Alternatively, BioStore™ treated cells can be freeze-dried, stored without refrigeration, and later reconstituted. This provides new storage and distribution opportunities and can reduce the costs of traditional storage technologies.
BioStore has also licensed its technology to Australian veterinary pharmaceuticals and animal health products manufacturer, Jurox Pty Ltd.
The agreement, which represents the first commercial application of BioStore™, enables Jurox to freeze-dry nucleated cellular products stored in a BioStore™ solution, and later revive them in a novel veterinary application.
As a result of this agreement BioStore will realise royalty income based on Jurox’s commercial success. Meanwhile Jurox is exploring further potential veterinary applications for BioStore™.
“BioStore’s unique preservation technology makes possible a whole new class of product formulations and treatment delivery systems for veterinary applications,” says Jurox CEO, John O’Brien. “We believe we have the potential to open up a range of veterinary opportunities for BioStore.”
Investing in BioStore
As it moves to commercialise the technology Genesis has considerably strengthened its BioStore team. It has contracted Dr Earl Stevens to manage the development of commercial applications. With a PhD in Biochemistry, a background in general management, mergers and commercial development, Dr Stevens is tasked with identifying, prioritising and speeding up the development of BioStore opportunities with strong commercial potential.
“The future commercialisation of BioStore’s patented technologies will be via agreements such as this,” says Dr Stevens. “Our primary focus for the near term will be on blood product applications, including platelet and red blood cell storage, where our ability to store platelets for 21 days at 4° C represents a significant advantage over other storage technologies.”
Genesis has also appointed a Chief Scientist for BioStore, Dr Anthony Matthews. A New Zealander and graduate of the University of Auckland, Dr Matthews has worked extensively in North America, at Rice University in Texas and Baxter Haemoglobin in Colorado. He is a biochemist with a background in physical chemistry, has worked with a wide range of tissues and holds a number of recombinant haemoglobin and protein purification related patents. Genesis has also appointed Dr Helen Cao to the BioStore team. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in medicine and a Masters in microbiology and immunology from Nanjing Medical University, and has recently completed a Masters in health sciences and a PhD at Auckland University.
Founded in 1994, 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 develop 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 now owns 100 percent of the shares in BioStore NZ Ltd, which in turn owns all the patents to BioStore™ preservation solutions. For more information, please visit www.genesis.co.nz
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