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Genesis Research Announces Half Year Result

Genesis Research Announces Half Year Result

Genesis Research and Development Corporation Ltd (NZSE / ASX: GEN) today announced results for the six month period to June 30.

The company ended the period with cash reserves of $42.2 million (December 2001: $47.9 million) which are sufficient to fund the planned research and development programmes for a number of years.

Research and administration costs of $14 million (including an unrealised exchange loss of $1.1 million) were offset by revenue from collaborations, licensing fees and interest of $8.7 million (2001 revenues: $20.0 million) to produce a net deficit of $5.3 million (deficit for 2001 full year: $9.6 million).

“Genesis is in a sound financial position and is well placed to ride out any fluctuations in biotech markets” said Chief Executive Dr Jim Watson. “Our strategy remains one of building long term value by developing patents and databases, gene sequencing expertise, numerous therapeutics and discovery programmes and joint venture partnerships.”

Genesis recently announced the commencement of a multi-centre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled Phase II clinical trial of PVAC™ in USA. This trial will treat patients with mild to moderate plaque psoriasis who have not failed prior immunosuppressive therapies. Trial results are expected in mid 2003. A further clinical trial of PVAC™ in conjunction with UVB treatment has commenced in Auckland and is also likely to have results available in mid 2003.

Following the completion of two successful Phase I clinical studies of AVAC™ in adult patients, approval has now been given to treat children suffering from atopic dermatitis (eczema) with AVAC™.

Other clinical and preclinical research projects are also continuing on programme.

The Plant Division collaborative research programmes with ArborGen LLC for forestry, and Wrightson (NZSE: WRI) for grasses, continued to achieve good progress. The recently announced $6.0 million, 4 year grant from the Foundation for Research Science and Technology to fund a research programme investigating plant hormones and signalling processes, commenced on 1 July 2002.

During the first half of 2002, 10 US patents and 7 foreign patents were issued to Genesis. A further 55 US patents and 261 foreign patents are pending.

Genesis had 151 staff at 30 June 2002. Expenditure in the second half of 2002 is expected to be similar to the period just completed.

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.

Genesis’ Health Sciences Division focuses on signalling pathways involved in immune diseases and cancer 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 and Epigen as targets for treatment of cancer and immune mediated diseases. The patented BioStore solutions for storage of tissues and living cells are also in pre-clinical development. Collaborations are maintained with Immunex Corporation (Recently acquired by Amgen Inc. NASDAQ: AMGN), Corixa Corporation (NASDAQ: CRXA), SR Pharma (LSE: SPA), and Jurox Pty Ltd.

The Plant Sciences division is focusing on key cell signalling genes - novel hormones and transcription factors - to control commercial traits including growth rates and wood fibre quality in trees, nutritional content of forage grasses, flowering control, salt and cold tolerance. 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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