BURNABY, BC, April 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. ("Chromos"; TSX: CHR) and its subsidiary Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. ("Agrisoma") announced today that Agrisoma has completed a Series A round of financing to advance the development of its chromosome-based gene delivery and expression platform in plants. Agrisoma will employ its technology for the development of value enhanced traits in crops and for the production of proteins in plant-based systems.
"Securing this funding from some of the most experienced biotech investors in Canada is testimony to the value and potential of our platform technology, and strong validation for Agrisoma and its prospects," said Alistair Duncan, President and CEO of Chromos. "This investment will enable Agrisoma to aggressively advance its research and development programs, allowing Chromos to dedicate its resources to its business of cellular protein production and gene-based cell therapies. With Chromos maintaining an equity position in Agrisoma, our shareholders will continue to benefit from our spin-out's success."
Institutional investors who provided the financing include Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund Inc. (which is advised by MDS Capital Corp.), Business Development Bank of Canada, as well as private individuals. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"A major near term objective for Agrisoma is to expand our technology portfolio across a broad spectrum of plant species," said Dr. Ben Sutton, Chairman of Agrisoma's Board of Directors. "This financing will enable us to advance the work we have initiated and generate critical data to further enable our business development efforts."
Chromos and Agrisoma also announced today that Tom Mamic has been appointed as President and CEO of Agrisoma. Concomitant with the appointment, Mr. Mamic joins Agrisoma's Board of Directors. "We are very pleased that Tom has accepted the position of President and CEO," said Dr. Sutton. "For the past two years, Tom has spearheaded Agrisoma's business operations and business development efforts. With the completion of this financing, it is the appropriate time for him to assume this leadership role. Tom's contributions to the Company have been exemplary, and he has the necessary understanding of Agrisoma, its technology and its markets to take the Company through its next stages of growth as an innovative agbiotech company."
Tom Mamic joined Chromos in 1997 and has held the position of Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for the last four years. In this position, Mr. Mamic has been directing and managing the Company's business and financial operations, and playing a key role in the Company's efforts to raise over $50 million in equity capital including an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Mr. Mamic has over ten years of experience growing and managing start-up companies, specifically in the areas of operations, strategy and finance. Mr. Mamic will remain Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Chromos while the Company searches for an individual to succeed him in his duties.
Agrisoma was founded in 2001 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Chromos. Agrisoma completed its first private financing in November of 2002. Chromos holds a non-controlling equity position in Agrisoma.
Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. is a private Canadian biotechnology company developing a chromosome-based gene delivery and expression platform in plant-based systems. Founded in 2001 as a spin-off from Chromos Molecular Systems Inc., Agrisoma offers an innovative approach to the development of value enhanced crops and the production of industrial and therapeutic proteins.
Agrisoma's technology is a gene delivery and expression platform capable of simultaneously introducing multiple genes into known sites in plants in an efficient and predictable way. Once delivered, the protein product of these genes is expressed from these plant cells, and is maintained stably over long periods of time. Limitations of conventional gene transfer technologies include reduced efficiency due to random integration of genes, in addition to their limited capacity to transfer large amounts of DNA, an important feature to enable crops to express multiple traits or large complex genes. Agrisoma's technology overcomes these barriers.
Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. is a public, Canadian biotechnology company leading the development of innovative therapies using a proprietary gene delivery and expression system for the production of therapeutic proteins and cell-based gene therapies. Chromos is achieving this objective with a unique mammalian chromosome technology platform from which multiple product candidates can be developed.
Chromos' technology, referred to as the ACE System, is a unique and powerful vehicle for carrying genes into cells for subsequent expression of proteins. It offers competitive advantages over current systems in that it permits the rapid and efficient insertion of selected genes, allows for the long term and stable expression of large, single or multiple proteins, and provides a means to selectively and predictably control protein expression.
Note: Certain of the statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Director, Investor Relations & Communications
Chromos Molecular Systems Inc.
Tel: (604) 415-7127
Fax: (604) 415-7151
Tom Mamic, CA
President and CEO
Agrisoma Biosciences Inc.
Tel: (604) 415-7120
Fax: (604) 415-7151
Chromos Molecular Systems Inc.; Agrisoma Biosciences Inc.