COPENHAGEN, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Astion Pharma A/S posted a loss of DKK 46 million for the year ended 31 December 2006 (2005: DKK 22.7 million). The loss is on a level with expectations and reflects the favourable developments in the company's development projects. Flemming 0rnskov, President and CEO of LifeCycle Pharma A/S and Flemming Pedersen, President and CEO of NeuroSearch A/S, have joined Astion Pharma's Board of Directors.
The year 2006 was a satisfactory and busy year during which Astion Pharma reached a number of important milestones in implementing its strategy of becoming a focused pharmaceutical company developing and commercialising new and superior treatments for skin diseases.
A total of eight clinical studies were initiated in Denmark, France, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Two clinical development candidates reached Phase II and one went on to Phase IIB. In addition, initial meetings held with the European regulatory authorities supported Astion Pharma's assumption that the company will be able to develop its products without expensive and time consuming toxicological safety studies before clinical programmes can be started up. Furthermore, the meetings supported the assumption that it will not be necessary to conduct such studies before the registration of ASF-1057, the company's most advanced development candidate. This has given Astion Pharma an important confirmation of the development strategies the company is working with.
The company grew from 11 employees at the end of 2005 to 23 at the end of 2006. It is expected that a further 20-25 employees will be recruited in 2007, primarily in connection with product development.
The company posted a pre-tax loss of DKK 46 million (2005: DKK 22.7 million). The cost base rose to DKK 42.9 million (2005: DKK 19.8 million), reflecting the favourable developments in the clinical projects and the increase in staff. The Group's net cash and cash equivalents stood at DKK 50.2 million at the end of the financial year (2005: DKK 24.3 million). The increase was mainly the result of the injection of DKK 50 million of fresh capital in June 2006.
At the recently held annual general meeting, Flemming 0rnskov, MD, MBA, Master of Public Health, President and CEO of LifeCycle Pharma A/S, and Flemming Pedersen, MSc, President and CEO of NeuroSearch A/S, were elected new members of Astion Pharma's Board of Directors. At the subsequent Board meeting, Flemming 0rnskov was elected Chairman of the Board.
"Flemming 0rnskov and Flemming Pedersen bring extensive experience in business development and management of internationally oriented biopharmaceutical companies to our Board," said Lars Smedegaard Andersen, President and CEO of Astion Pharma. "This puts us in a powerful position for meeting the challenges of bringing our first products to market."
Flemming 0rnskov has been President and CEO of the Danish listed company LifeCycle Pharma A/S since September 2006. Flemming 0rnskov holds strong international experience from a number of executive positions in international pharmaceutical and biotech companies, among them Novartis and Merck & Co. Flemming 0rnskov is a member of the Board of Directors of Ikaria Inc.
Flemming Pedersen has been President and CEO of the Danish listed company NeuroSearch A/S since April 2006. Flemming Pedersen holds broad management experience within the Danish biotech industry and is currently Chairman of the Boards of Directors of Sophion Bioscience A/S and Atonomics A/S. In addition, Flemming Pedersen is a member of the Boards of Directors of Bavarian Nordic A/S and MBIT Consulting A/S.
For additional information please see www.astion.com, where our Annual Report 2006 is available for downloading. If you would like to receive a print version of the Annual Report, please contact Astion at +45 3915 7700 or at email@example.com.
Astion Pharma A/S develops pharmaceutical products for the treatment of skin diseases. It is estimated that one person in four worldwide will suffer from a skin diseases sometime in life, causing a deterioration of their quality of life. It is the Company's goal to become a leading player in the treatment of skin diseases for which there is currently a major need for new and better therapies. Astion Pharma has a strong platform of proprietary technologies for the development of new and innovative products. The Company pursues development activities through a strong international network of scientific partners and leading contract research organisations. The Company currently has three development projects in Phase II clinical studies in hand dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and cutaneous lupus in addition to a large portfolio of product candidates and research projects in earlier phases. For additional information please visit our web site: www.astion.com.
Astion Pharma A/S