TORONTO, March 30 /CNW/ - GeneNews Limited (TSX: GEN), formerly
ChondroGene Limited, today announced its financial results for the fourth
quarter and year ended December 31, 2006.
GeneNews reported revenues of $3,283,268 for the year ended December 31,
2006, compared to revenues of $5,338,478 for the prior year. Revenues for the
year were attributable to the Company's second research collaboration with
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) which was successfully concluded in October 2006. The
net loss for the year was $8,935,673 or $0.18 per common share, compared to a
net loss of $3,075,107 or $0.08 per share for the year ended December 31,
2005. As at December 31, 2006, the Company had $20,593,568 in cash and cash
For the fourth quarter of 2006, GeneNews reported revenues of $663,751
compared to revenues of $2,070,367 in the fourth quarter of 2005. The net loss
for the quarter was $2,716,365 or $0.05 per common share, compared to a net
income of $246,084 or $0.01 per share for the quarter ended December 31, 2005.
"GeneNews achieved significant milestones during 2006 in support of the
commercial development of our lead product, ColonSentry(TM), a blood-based
test for detecting colorectal cancer. We completed the largest financing in
our company's history, enabling our graduation to the Toronto Stock Exchange
and the provision of sufficient capital to accelerate the development of
ColonSentry," stated K. Wayne Marshall, MD, PhD, President & CEO of GeneNews.
"We have also entered into formal discussions with regulatory authorities in
the U.S. and Canada to prepare for the launch of clinical trials for
ColonSentry(TM) which we expect to begin before the end of 2007."
$25 Million Equity Financing
In May, the Company completed the largest financing in its history, and
one of the largest biotech financings in Canada in 2006, with the closing of a
$25 million private placement, managed by five Canadian investment banks led
by Westwind Partners Inc., and including institutional investors from Canada,
the U.S. and Malaysia.
TSX Listing and Name Change
In the third quarter, the Company graduated from the TSX Venture Exchange
to Canada's senior exchange, the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), in recognition
of the Company's progress and stable financial position after the equity
financing in May. The Company also obtained a new stock symbol (GEN) and
changed its name to GeneNews Limited to better reflect the Company's current
business and interests in multiple disease areas.
Although the main focus for the coming year will be ColonSentry(TM),
GeneNews continues to identify and develop biomarkers for oncology
applications with emphasis on prostate, bladder and ovarian cancers. The
Company also continues to collect clinical samples and work with collaborators
in other areas including various forms of cardiovascular disease and
neurological disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.
Osteoarthritis was the disease focus for two collaborative research
agreements with Pfizer Inc. that collectively generated approximately
$16 million in contract research revenues for the Company over a four-year
period. The second two-year collaboration with Pfizer Inc. was completed in
October 2006. An amendment to the second collaboration was executed in
December 2006 which has generated an additional $1.8 million in revenue that
will be recognized as revenue in 2007. The Company is now seeking a new
partner and additional resources to continue its work in osteoarthritis.
Many significant scientific abstracts and papers were published during
the year, including:
- "Peripheral blood transcriptome dynamically reflects system wide
biology: a potential diagnostic tool", was published in the March
issue of the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine;
- "Novel blood biomarker panel detects human colorectal cancer" was
presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting
in June 2006;
- "Blood-based biomarkers for detecting aggressive prostate cancer at
time of biopsy" was presented at the American Society of Clinical
Oncology (ASCO) meeting in June 2006;
- "Novel blood biomarkers of human urinary bladder cancer" was
published in the June issue of Clinical Cancer Research.
GeneNews continues to file patent applications internationally on
inventions and discoveries made by its scientific staff. To date, more than 70
patent applications have been filed.
- In October, Frost and Sullivan, a U.S. based market research firm,
selected GeneNews as the recipient of the 2006 North American
Technology Innovation of the Year Award in the field of Genetic
Biomarkers recognizing the Sentinel Principle(TM), a breakthrough
technology that uses a novel approach to identify blood-based
biomarkers for specific diseases.
- Dr. Heiner Dreismann, former President and CEO of Roche Molecular
Systems, a division of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. and the company that
pioneered molecular diagnostics in the clinical arena, joined the
Company's Board of Directors of GeneNews in September 2006. Dr.
Dreismann chairs the Company's Strategy Committee and contributes a
wealth of experience and insight to GeneNews as it moves into the
commercialization of its blood-based molecular diagnostic tests.
GeneNews is focussed on the application of functional genomics to enable
early diagnosis and personalized therapeutic intervention based on
disease-specific biomarkers. The Company has developed a novel approach, the
Sentinel Principle(TM), to detect and stage virtually any disease or medical
condition from a simple blood sample. GeneNews is currently applying the
Sentinel Principle in major areas with unmet clinical needs such as cancer,
arthritis, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders. GeneNews' first
product in development, ColonSentry(TM), is a blood-based test that can detect
colon cancer. For more information on GeneNews, visit www.genenews.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which reflect the
Company's current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking
statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events could differ
materially from those projected herein. Investors should consult the Company's
ongoing quarterly filings and annual reports for additional information on
risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements. The
reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. The
Company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
For further information:
For further information: Dr. K. Wayne Marshall, President & CEO, (416)
650-0060 x234, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bruno Maruzzo, Corporate Development,
(416) 650-0060 x237, email@example.com