SemBioSys announces substantial cost reductions to extend development runway

    TSX symbol: SBS

    CALGARY, Oct. 20 /CNW/ - SemBioSys Genetics Inc. (TSX:SBS), a
biotechnology company developing a portfolio of therapeutic proteins, today
announced it has implemented a substantial cost reduction program to conserve
existing cash resources in order to extend its development runway in response
to the current challenging capital markets environment. The Company will focus
its resources on the completion of the near-term development milestones for
its insulin and Apo AI programs, that directly align with the company's
partnering strategies for these two products. The company has reduced its
headcount to 45 employees. This is a reduction in staff of more than
40 percent. In addition, the Company is curtailing expenditures on those
activities that are not critical to the achievement of its partnering
    "Our insulin and Apo AI development programs are approaching material
near-term milestone events, which should enable us to partner these programs.
The changes announced today will ensure our current cash resources and core
competencies are focused on achieving these value-driving milestones," said
Andrew Baum, president and chief executive officer of SemBioSys. "Separately,
our subsidiary, Botaneco Specialty Ingredients Inc., has been financially and
operationally independent of SemBioSys since June, consequent to a
$4.0 million financing."
    SemBioSys has made major progress in both its insulin and Apo AI
programs. It has already completed the manufacture of the clinical grade
safflower-produced insulin necessary to conduct its Phase I/II insulin trial,
including a cGMP audit required by European authorities. In the U.S., the 30
day post-IND period was completed in August, with no objections raised by the
FDA. The Company has also initiated in vivo plaque remodeling and regression
studies at Cedars Sinai Hospital at UCLA with its safflower-derived Apo AI
Milano. Results from these pivotal pre-clinical studies are expected in early
2009. Both the insulin and Apo AI Milano programs are currently the subject of
substantial discussions with prospective partners.

    About SemBioSys Genetics Inc.

    Calgary, Alberta-based SemBioSys Genetics Inc. is a biotechnology company
developing protein-based pharmaceuticals. The Company's lead pharmaceutical
candidates, produced in the plant host safflower, are recombinant human
insulin to serve the rapidly expanding global diabetes market and Apo AI
Milano, a next generation cardiovascular drug. In addition to its
pharmaceutical products, SemBioSys's subsidiary, Botaneco Specialty
Ingredients Inc., is selling oleosome-based all natural products in the global
personal care ingredient market. More information is available and can be
accessed at or

    This press release contains certain forward-looking statements,
including, without limitation, statements containing the words "believe",
"may", "plan", "will", "estimate", "continue", "anticipate", "intend",
"expect" and other similar expressions which constitute "forward-looking
information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking
statements reflect the Company's current expectation and assumptions, and are
subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results
to differ materially from those anticipated. These forward-looking statements
involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, changing market
conditions and market size, the acceptance of an IND by the FDA in respect of
clinical studies, the submission of a CTA to the appropriate European
authorities, the successful initiation and timely and successful completion of
clinical studies, the fact that Apo AI is currently a development stage drug,
the establishment of corporate alliances, the impact of competitive products
and pricing, new product development, uncertainties related to the regulatory
approval process and other risks detailed from time-to-time in the Company's
ongoing filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities which
filings can be found at Given these risks and uncertainties,
readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking
statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise
any forward-looking statements either as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise, except as required by applicable Canadian securities

For further information:

For further information: SemBioSys Genetics Inc., Andrew Baum, President
and Chief Executive Officer, Phone: (403) 717-8767, E-mail:; The Trout Group, Ian Clements, Senior Vice President,
Phone: (415) 392-3385, E-mail:

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SemBioSys Genetics Inc.

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