SemBioSys receives US$2.5 million from option agreement with MannKind for plant-produced insulin

    CALGARY, Jan. 6 /CNW/ - SemBioSys Genetics Inc. (TSX:SBS), a
biotechnology company developing protein pharmaceuticals in crop plants, today
announced it has received US$2,500,000 from MannKind Corporation (Nasdaq:  MNKD)
as consideration for the option agreement and issuance of 2,400,000 units of
SemBioSys, as previously announced December 24, 2008. The transaction provides
MannKind with the option to the license rights to SemBioSys' proprietary
plant-produced recombinant human insulin for use primarily in MannKind's
ultra-rapid acting insulin, AFRESA(TM).
    The units were issued at a price US$0.83 (Cdn$1.00) per unit. Each unit
issued by SemBioSys consists of one common share of SemBioSys and one-tenth of
one common share purchase warrant of SemBioSys. Each whole warrant entitles
MannKind to purchase one additional common share of SemBioSys at an exercise
price of Cdn$6.00 for a period of 36 months from the effective date of the
option. The option period for the license rights ends on March 31, 2009.

    About SBS Plant-Produced Insulin

    SemBioSys' plant-produced insulin is human insulin produced from
genetically enhanced safflower. SemBioSys has demonstrated that its
plant-produced insulin is physically, structurally and functionally
indistinguishable from pharmaceutical-grade human insulin through analytical
testing and pre-clinical sub-chronic toxicology studies in rodents and
primates. SemBioSys is currently conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial of its
plant-produced insulin. The three-arm study, of up to 30 healthy volunteers,
is designed to demonstrate the bioequivalence of safflower-produced insulin to
two commercial insulin standards. Full results are expected to be available
during the first half of 2009.

    About SemBioSys

    Calgary, Alberta-based SemBioSys is a biotechnology company developing
protein-based pharmaceuticals using its proprietary protein production
technology. This technology enables the production of therapeutic proteins in
plant seeds by genetically enhancing the safflower plant. SemBioSys' lead
pharmaceutical candidates are recombinant human insulin, which is intended to
serve the rapidly expanding global diabetes market, and Apo AI(Milano). Apo
AI(Milano) is a variant of Apo AI, the major protein associated with high
density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good cholesterol", whose function is to remove
excess cholesterol from arteries. In addition to its pharmaceutical products,
SemBioSys' 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

    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 CEO, Phone: (403) 717-8767, E-mail:; The Trout Group,
Christine Labaree, Managing Director, Phone: (617) 583-1307, E-mail:; The Equicom Group Inc., Ross Marshall, Vice
President, Phone: (416) 815-0700 ext. 238, E-mail:

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