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Genesis Appoints Vice-President for Health Science

Genesis Research Appoints Vice-President for Health Science Business Development in USA

Genesis Research and Development Corporation today announced the appointment of Dr Benjamin Twombly as Vice President of Business Development, responsible for expanding the company’s Health Sciences commercial activities in North America.

Dr Twombly is based in Connecticut and will seek licensing opportunities in the biotech, pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, identify potential business partners and build relationships with them.

He has a wealth of experience in biotechnology and is highly respected within the pharmaceutical industry. His appointment is designed to accelerate the pace at which Genesis can deploy its growing base of intellectual property and its highly productive genomics research capabilities. Genesis expects to establish new partnerships and develop additional revenue streams from licensing new drug candidates and proprietary databases.

Dr Jim Watson, Chief Executive of Genesis Research and Development, says Dr Twombly has been appointed to help develop the full potential of the company’s Health Sciences division and to build on the strengths of existing partnerships with North American companies such as Immunex Corporation, Corixa Corporation and Medicis Corporation.

“In the past six months, Genesis has been actively working towards establishing new partnerships in the Northern Hemisphere,” said Dr Watson. “Because of the length of time involved in visiting and entering negotiations with potential partners, it has become increasingly clear that we would be more effective if we sited Business Development Management in the United States.”

“While Ben will be based in North America, reporting directly to me, he will be a regular visitor to New Zealand, meeting with Genesis management and science teams.“

About Dr Twombly

Benjamin Twombly previously founded Ethient, a company specialising in facilitating Fortune 500 international corporations to form high level strategic alliances and business partnerships. Prior to that he was at Perkin-Elmer (Celera) Corporation with responsibilities including the reputation, profitability and sustainability of the company’s top producing business unit. He has also worked for Rheometrics, Inc. and Helena Laboratories.

Benjamin holds a Ph.D. in Rheology from Rutgers University as well as Bachelors degrees in Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Chemical Engineering / Biochemistry. He holds numerous patents and has authored many scientific and business publications.

About Genesis

Founded in 1994, Genesis is a New Zealand-based biotechnology company committed to the development of innovative products in health and plant biotechnology from its broad genomic platform. Genesis partners with industry leaders to develop products which have global market potential through the mining of its extensive microbe, plant and mammalian EST databases.

The Health Sciences Division focuses on signalling pathways and the immune system and has an extensive patent portfolio. It has three programmes in human clinical development utilising PVAC™ and AVAC™ for the treatment of psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (eczema) and asthma. Additional pre-clinical programmes are developing YB-1, FGFR5, MED-1 and Epigen for cancer and other indications. The patented BioStore solutions for storage of tissues and living cells are also in pre-clinical development. Collaborations are maintained with Immunex Corporation (NASDAQ: IMNX), Corixa Corporation (NASDAQ: CRXA), SR Pharma (LSE: SPA), and Jurox Pty Ltd.

The Plant Sciences division is focussing on key cell signalling genes – novel hormones and transcription factors - to control commercial traits including wood fibre quality in trees, nutritional content of forage grasses, flowering control, salt and cold tolerance and superior growth rates. It has developed comprehensive plant EST databases including the world’s largest EST database for commercial forestry species. It has research collaborations with ArborGen LLC, Wrightson (NZSE: WRI), HortResearch, AgResearch and Landcare. Genesis is also undertaking significant unpartnered research programmes in novel plant hormones. A number of patents are held including 12 steps in the production of lignin.

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