Sydney, Australia; San Diego, CA, USA - May 31, 2005 - Australian Cancer Technology, Ltd. (ASX: ACU) announced today that the Company’s name has changed to Avantogen Limited, by a vote of shareholders at a general meeting in Sydney on May 9, 2005. Avantogen will continue to be traded on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) under the symbol ACU. The Company has established a Level 1 ADR stock program in the U.S., trading under the symbol AUCJY and also is listed under the symbol CBS on the Xetra exchange, the electronic trading system of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Both of these foreign exchange symbols will also stay the same for the present.
"This name change symbolizes the beginning of a new, exciting era in our Company’s history, following a concentrated period of technology acquisitions and restructuring of both our Board and management," said Dr. Leonard Firestone, M.D., who was appointed chief executive officer in March. "With two Phase II cancer product candidates in the clinic, and an extremely promising vaccine adjuvant involved in several Phase I US trials, Avantogen is now poised for a sustained period of rapid growth in value and stature".
Dr. Firestone outlined plans for the future growth of the company, including its relocation to the United States’ biotech marketplace, during the shareholder meeting. The slide presentation from Dr. Firestone’s address to shareholders can be found at www.avantogen.com.
The Company also announced the closing of an A$5.7 million 1:3 non-renounceable rights issue. A total of 33% of shareholders participated, and the balance was placed by Burdett Buckeridge Young (BBY) Limited.
"I am gratified to see this level of support by our shareholders. This successful rights offering was the first stage of our Company’s capital program this year, which will allow our three exceptionally promising clinical development programs to proceed at full pace. As previously announced during our shareholder forums in April, the second stage will raise, principally in the US capital markets, the funds needed to enter pivotal trials in the U.S., and to meet NASDAQ’s listing requirements," Dr. Firestone said.
Avantogen is an international biotechnology Company developing a broad oncology-related product portfolio. Avantogen has acquired the North American marketing rights for RP101, a promising pancreatic cancer drug and is currently conducting Phase II clinical studies through a subsidiary company, Resistys Inc, a joint venture with Bioaccelerate of New York. Avantogen's Pentrys anti-cancer vaccine is being evaluated in prostate cancer patients in Phase IIb clinical studies, and the Company is advancing several immune enhancing adjuvants in three Phase I cancer trials in the U.S.. The immune-enhancing adjuvants were developed by Galenica, a privately held U.S. vaccine developer. Avantogen acquired Galenica in July 2004. The Company also markets Revisys, a branded line of medical nutritionals designed for people with special needs, including those undergoing cancer treatments.
Statements contained in this press release that are not historical information are forward-looking statements as defined within the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause Avantogen ("company") actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied. Such potential risks and uncertainties relate, but are not limited, to the results of clinical trials, product demand and market acceptance, the impact of competitive products and pricing, effectiveness and pace of current and future product development and regulatory approval. More detailed information on these and additional factors that could affect the company's operating and financial results are described in the company's annual reports filed, or to be filed, with the Australian Stock Exchange. The company urges all interested parties to read these reports to gain a better understanding of the many business and other risks that the company faces. The historical results achieved by the company are not necessarily indicative of its future prospects. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.