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Protemix Appoints UK Scientist As Chairman

Media Information: 4 December 2003


Professor Keith Mansford has been appointed chairman of Protemix Corporation, one of New Zealand's leading biopharmaceutical companies.

In announcing the appointment, Professor Garth Cooper, Protemix CEO, says Professor Mansford already provides a significant contribution as Chairman of the company's Scientific Advisory Board.

UK- based Professor Mansford also has a long-standing association with Dr Cooper through US-listed Amylin Pharmaceuticals, created by Professor Cooper following his discovery of the hormone amylin whilst at Oxford.

Professor Mansford is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry, former Vice President of the Institute of Biology and President of Research and board member of SmithKline Beecham from 1984 - 1992, and responsible for more than 10 significant drug discoveries and commercialisations, including the broad spectrum antibiotic Augmentin.

Professor Mansford is currently Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Buckingham's Clore Laboratory, where the research group specialises in receptor, cell based and animal models of metabolic diseases including Type II diabetes and obesity.

Protemix develops new therapies for diabetes, and associated cardiovascular disease, and metabolic disorders. The company has an extensive pipeline of diabetes-related drugs, including one potential 'blockbuster' already in Phase 2 trials and about to enter multi-national Phase 3 trials.


More information:

Protemix- based in NZ, founded in 1999 by Drs Garth Cooper and John Baker. The company recently received recognition as HiTech Biotechnology company of the Year and HiTech Deal of the Year (2003) for its successful capital raising.

Professor Cooper is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Protemix Corporation. He co-founded the biopharmaceutical company in 1999 and has assembled an international Scientific Advisory Board comprising 12 prestigious scientists. Protemix completed a $NZ 20m series A funding round under his leadership late 2003.

Professor Cooper has held a Chair in Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry in the Schools of Biological Sciences and of Medicine at the University of Auckland since 1995. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Pathologists, holds a D.Phil in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Oxford University, is an elected Member of the American Endocrine Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Whilst a Nuffield Fellow at Oxford University, he discovered the hormone amylin, and later developed amylin replacement, a new therapy for diabetes mellitus. He successfully patented his discovery and in 1987 founded Amylin (UK) Ltd and subsequently founded the San Diego-based, NASDAQ-listed and now $NZ 5bn biopharmaceutical company Amylin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AMLN).

After returning to New Zealand, he established and funded the Molecular Endocrinology Laboratory with the University of Auckland. Since then has written a further 20 patents, most of which have now been vested in Protemix, whose discovery laboratories remain within the School of Biological Sciences at the University.

Dr John R Baker MB ChB FRACP FRCPA is a specialist diabetes physician. He is Head of Diabetes Services at South Auckland Health, a healthcare provider serving a population of 400,000 with a particularly high incidence of diabetes.

Dr Baker has conducted research into diabetes for many years and his experimental work has generated significant intellectual property and various patents, several of which have been successfully commercialised. He developed an assay which has become one of the standard measures for monitoring the quality of diabetic control. The assay was licensed to Roche and is sold successfully worldwide.

Dr Baker's particular research interest is the treatment and prevention of complications associated with Type 2 Diabetes.


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