Burcon announces year-end results, updates on activities



    VANCOUVER, May 26 /CNW/ - Burcon NutraScience Corporation (TSXV - BU)
("Burcon") today reported financial results for the fiscal year ended March
31, 2009 and provided a review of the year's operations.

    
    A summary of the highlights of the past year include:

    -   Compiled the dossier of scientific data including the key toxicology
        studies completed for the U.S. GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe)
        self-affirmation process;

    -   Announced in October 2008 that Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM) canola
        protein isolates are self-affirmed GRAS for their intended use in a
        variety of food and beverage applications;

    -   Introduced in November 2008 a revolutionary soy protein isolate,
        Clarisoy(TM), which is 100% soluble and transparent in acidic
        solutions;

    -   Entered into materials transfer agreements ("MTAs") and
        non-disclosure agreements with a number of globally recognized food,
        beverage and nutritional product companies for the evaluation of
        Clarisoy(TM);

    -   Filed several patent applications over the newly developed novel
        processes for the production of, functional and nutritional
        applications of, and functional attributes of Clarisoy(TM);

    -   23 patents covering 7 distinct inventions were granted in a number of
        countries;

    -   Filed several patent applications over new inventions on the
        production of canola protein isolates; and

    -   Raised $1.1 million through the exercise of stock options.
    

    In October 2008, Burcon announced that its canola protein isolate
products, Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM), are GRAS for their intended use in a
variety of food and beverage applications. The products have been
self-affirmed GRAS through an independent evaluation by a panel of qualified
experts in the fields of food safety, toxicology, nutritional sciences, food
allergies and pediatric nutrition. Burcon's Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM) are
the first canola protein isolates to have attained GRAS status in the United
States. GRAS status permits Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM) to be marketed and
used in a variety of mainstream foods and beverages for human consumption. To
enhance consumer acceptance, Burcon and ADM have chosen to pursue GRAS
notification for Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM). GRAS notification is a
voluntary procedure whereby a company informs the Food and Drug Administration
("FDA") of its determination that the use of a substance is GRAS. A substance
is GRAS Notified when, after reviewing the GRAS notification, the FDA responds
with a no-objection letter if it is satisfied with the submission. Before
submitting the GRAS notification, Burcon and ADM will submit the scientific
studies which were incorporated into the GRAS dossier (the toxicology studies)
to a peer reviewed journal for publication. The parties are in the process of
submitting these studies. Once published, Burcon and ADM will proceed to
submit the GRAS notification. The FDA's goal is to respond in writing within
180 days after receiving the notice by either identifying a problem with the
GRAS notice or by indicating that it has no questions. Although Burcon and ADM
have decided to take steps towards obtaining GRAS notification, Puratein(R)
and Supertein(TM) are already self-affirmed GRAS and may be marketed and sold
for human consumption in the United States now.
    In November 2008, Burcon announced that it has developed a soy protein
isolate, Clarisoy(TM) that is 100% soluble and transparent in acidic
solutions, enabling applications down to pH 2.5. Clarisoy(TM) is heat stable
permitting hot-fill applications and has neutral flavour and odour, giving
beverages a cleaner flavour. The solubility and transparency of Clarisoy(TM)
allows for its use in a wide variety of beverages where traditional soy
protein isolates are not appropriate. Clarisoy(TM) is expected to be price
competitive with existing proteins and should be of particular interest to
food and beverage manufacturers seeking an alternative to high dairy protein
prices. Burcon expects that the addition of Clarisoy(TM) will expand Burcon's
portfolio of commercializable products.
    In the coming year Burcon will pursue two simultaneous development paths
for its canola and soy protein technologies as well as its novel protein
ingredients: Puratein(R), Supertein(TM) and Clarisoy(TM).

    Canola proteins: Burcon, in conjunction with ADM, will continue to pursue
GRAS notification for Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM) with the FDA with the
intention of obtaining a no objection letter from the FDA. Burcon's main
objective is to reach an agreement with ADM for the development and
construction of a first commercial production facility as well as to initiate
product development programs and marketing and sales strategies for
Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM).

    Soy protein: Burcon's intent is to pursue product development agreements
with major food, beverage and nutritional product companies to develop
improved or novel applications for Clarisoy(TM) into their products. Burcon
will also pursue a strategic alliance with a potential partner in connection
with the development of a commercial facility for the production, marketing
and sale of Clarisoy(TM). The Winnipeg Technical Centre will continue to
produce Clarisoy(TM) samples for product application trials by potential
strategic alliance partners.
    Burcon will continue to refine its protein extraction and purification
technologies, develop new technologies and related products and further
strengthen and expand its intellectual property portfolio.

    
    Financial Results and Highlights
    --------------------------------
    

    Burcon reported a loss of $4,811,331 ($0.19 per share) as compared to
$4,042,376 ($0.16 per share) in the prior year. Of the loss amount reported,
$1,495,436 (2008 - $1,186,336) is a non-cash stock-based compensation cost.
Other non-cash items included in the loss amount include amortization of about
$170,000, services received and settled in capital stock of $30,000 and loss
on disposal of property and equipment of about $19,000.
    Research and Development expenses decreased by approximately $67,000 from
fiscal 2008. After deducting stock-based (non-cash) compensation expense of
about $476,000 (2008 - $383,000), salaries and benefits increased by
approximately $67,000, excluding a $25,000 bonus payment made during fiscal
2008. About two-thirds of the increase can be attributed to annual salary
increases, with the balance relating to the net addition of an employee at the
Winnipeg Technical Centre. Burcon made payments totaling $203,000 (2008 -
$397,000) during the year relating to the toxicology trials and GRAS
self-affirmation process that were completed during the year.
    Of the total General and Administrative expenses, approximately $920,000
(2008 - $720,000) relate to stock-based compensation. Investor relations
expenses increased by approximately $77,000, after taking into account the
effect of stock-based compensation of about $272,000 (2007 - $231,000). The
increase is due primarily to higher expenses relating to a European conference
and advertising expenses in Europe as well as a Canadian publication
supplement featuring Burcon. Other expenses contributing to the increase this
year include increased public relations services, news releases and stock
exchange sustaining fees.
    Professional fees increased by about $515,000 from 2008. Of the increase,
about $442,000 is attributable to patent legal fees and disbursements. Two
patents entered National Phase during the last quarter of the fiscal 2008 and
the significant fees related to this process continued into the first two
quarters of fiscal 2009. From December 2008 to February 2009, Burcon incurred
an average of $125,000 each month in patent legal fees and disbursements
attributable mostly to foreign agency fees expended in the registration of
patents granted in Europe in various European countries. From inception to
March 31, 2009, Burcon has expended approximately $3.8 million on patent legal
fees and disbursements to strengthen its patent portfolio worldwide and file
patent applications for new inventions.
    At March 31, 2009, the Company's cash position was $2,241,976, as
compared to $4,220,679 at March 31, 2008. During the year, the exercise of
options provided proceeds of about $1.1 million, as compared to last year
during which option exercises provided proceeds of approximately $831,000.
To-date, Burcon has incurred US$582,000 related to the regulatory recognition
process and expects to incur a further US$35,000. The total cost of the
regulatory process is currently estimated at US$977,000, with Burcon's share
estimated at US$617,000.

    About Burcon NutraScience

    Burcon is a leader in nutrition, health and wellness in the field of
functional, renewable plant proteins. Since 1999, Burcon has developed a
portfolio of composition, application, and process patents originating from
our core protein extraction and purification technology. We are developing the
world's first commercial canola proteins, Puratein(R) and Supertein(TM) with
unique functional and nutritional attributes, and CLARISOY(TM), a
revolutionary soy protein isolate which is 100% soluble and completely
transparent in acidic solutions. Our team of highly specialized scientists and
engineers work from our own research facility to develop and optimize
environmentally sound technologies. To-date, our patent portfolio consists of
84 issued patents worldwide, including 8 issued U.S. patents, and well in
excess of 200 additional pending patent applications, 55 of which are U.S.
patent applications.

    
    ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
    "Johann F. Tergesen"
    Johann F. Tergesen
    President and Chief Operating Officer
    

    The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept
responsibility for the adequacy of the content of the information contained
herein. This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve
risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to, among
other things, plans and timing for the introduction or enhancement of our
products, statements about future market conditions, supply and demand
conditions, and other expectations, intentions and plans contained in this
press release that are not historical fact. Our expectations regarding the
prospect for future success depend upon our ability to develop and sell
products, which we do not produce today and cannot be sold without further
research and development. When used in this press release, the words "goal",
"intend", "believes" and "potential" and similar expressions, generally
identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current
expectations. They are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. In
light of the many risks and uncertainties surrounding the development of a
source of protein from canola meal, you should understand that we cannot
assure you that the forward looking statements contained in this press release
will be realized.


    
    Burcon NutraScience Corporation
    Consolidated Balance Sheets
    As at March 31, 2009 and 2008

                                                        2009            2008
                                                           $               $
    Assets

    Current assets
    Cash and cash equivalents                      2,241,976       4,220,679
    Amounts receivable                                35,621          15,893
    Prepaid expenses                                 138,172         183,402
                                                 ----------------------------

                                                   2,415,769       4,419,974

    Property and equipment                           626,673         764,045

    Goodwill                                       1,254,930       1,254,930
                                                 ----------------------------

                                                   4,297,372       6,438,949
                                                 ----------------------------
                                                 ----------------------------

    Liabilities

    Current liabilities
    Accounts payable and accrued liabilities         346,730         216,328
                                                 ----------------------------

    Shareholders' Equity

    Capital stock                                 28,268,997      26,281,156

    Contributed surplus                            3,705,549       3,692,747

    Options                                        3,003,446       2,464,737

    Deficit                                      (31,027,350)    (26,216,019)
                                                 ----------------------------

                                                   3,950,642       6,222,621
                                                 ----------------------------

                                                   4,297,372       6,438,949
                                                 ----------------------------
                                                 ----------------------------



    Burcon NutraScience Corporation
    Consolidated Statements of Operations,
    Comprehensive Loss, and Deficit
    For the years ended March 31, 2009 and 2008

                                                        2009            2008
                                                           $               $
    Expenses
    Research and development                       2,090,775       2,157,617
    General and administrative                     1,553,600       1,363,897
    Professional fees                              1,115,191         600,033
    Management fees and services                     127,250         147,946
    Amortization                                       2,462           2,347
                                                 ----------------------------

    Loss from operations                          (4,889,278)     (4,271,840)

    Interest income                                   77,947         229,464
                                                 ----------------------------

    Loss and comprehensive loss for the year      (4,811,331)     (4,042,376)

    Deficit - Beginning of year                  (26,216,019)    (22,173,643)
                                                 ----------------------------

    Deficit - End of year                        (31,027,350)    (26,216,019)
                                                 ----------------------------
                                                 ----------------------------

    Basic and diluted loss per share                   (0.19)          (0.16)
                                                 ----------------------------
                                                 ----------------------------



    Burcon NutraScience Corporation
    Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
    For the years ended March 31, 2009 and 2008

                                                        2009            2008
                                                           $               $
    Cash flows from operating activities
    Loss for the year                             (4,811,331)     (4,042,376)
      Items not affecting cash
        Amortizaion                                  169,868         194,145
        Loss on disposal of property
         and equipment                                18,574               -
        Stock-based compensation expense           1,495,436       1,186,336
        Services received and settled in
         capital stock                                30,010          30,004
                                                 ----------------------------

                                                  (3,097,443)     (2,631,891)

    Changes in non-cash working capital items
      Amounts receivable                             (19,728)          3,610
      Prepaid expenses                                 3,758          (9,891)
      Accounts payable and accrued liabilities       130,402         (79,219)
                                                 ----------------------------

                                                  (2,983,011)     (2,717,391)

    Cash flows from investing activities
    Acquisition of property and equipment            (51,070)        (64,667)

    Cash flows from financing activities
    Issue of capital stock                         1,055,378         830,670
                                                 ----------------------------
                                                 ----------------------------

    Decrease in cash and cash equivalents         (1,978,703)     (1,951,388)

    Cash and cash equivalents
     - Beginning of year                           4,220,679       6,172,067
                                                 ----------------------------

    Cash and cash equivalents
     - End of year                                 2,241,976       4,220,679
                                                 ----------------------------
                                                 ----------------------------

    Cash and cash equivalents consist of
    Cash                                              30,145          43,905
    Cash equivalents                               2,211,831       4,176,774
                                                 ----------------------------
                                                   2,241,976       4,220,679
                                                 ----------------------------
                                                 ----------------------------
    





For further information:

For further information: Jade Cheng, Chief Financial Officer, Burcon
NutraScience Corporation, (604) 733-0896, (888) 408-7960 toll-free,
jcheng@burcon.ca, www.burcon.ca; AXINO AG, Sven Olsson, Investor Relations
Europe, AXINO AG, Konigstrasse 26, 70173 Stuttgart, Germany, Tel. +49-711-25
35 92-30, Fax +49-711-25 35 92-33, olsson@axino.de, www.burcon.net

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