MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA and CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - October 05, 2009) - - Non Cash Transaction results in ProMetic increasing its holding of common stock from 26% to 77%
- No change in level of funding required by ProMetic
- Improved visibility in ProMetic's financial statements
- American Red Cross remains involved at Board Level
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) ("ProMetic") announces that it has finalized its intended transaction with the American Red Cross ("ARC") to acquire, in a non-cash transaction, its common stock holding in Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. ("PRDT"). The transaction, originally announced in April 2008, will see ProMetic's participation in the common stock increase from 26% to a controlling 77% in exchange for a tapering royalty on PRDT revenue. The remaining 23% of common stock in PRDT will continue to be held by the academic co-founders and ARC will continue to be represented on the Board of Directors.
PRDT's technology forms the basis of proven prion capture materials used in both industrial purification processes and in the P-Capt® prion removal filters for red blood cell filtration that significantly reduce the risk of transmission of the fatal brain disease variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease ("vCJD") from blood derived products. PRDT's prion capture materials are supplied by ProMetic to end-users under the Prioclear™ tradename.
"PRDT's prion reduction technology has seen increasing levels of commercial success recently. We are particularly pleased with the strengthening relationship between ProMetic and Octapharma, and are encouraged by the growing level of interest in the technology by other players in the market," commented Mr. Pierre Laurin, President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic who added: "This increased level of use for bulk-scale applications, combined with the anticipated adoption of the P-Capt® filter, should result in further growth in revenues. In view of the increasing commercialization of PRDT's technology it is appropriate that control of PRDT moves from ARC to ProMetic. We do however look forward to a continued long-term collaboration with ARC".
"With ongoing concerns over vCJD contamination of blood and plasma products, PRDT's prion reduction technology provides ProMetic's customers with increased competitive advantage," said Dr. Steve Burton, Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic BioSciences Ltd, ProMetic's UK division who is responsible for manufacturing and marketing Prioclear™ adsorbents. "Having acquired the controlling interest in PRDT, ProMetic is now able to provide a comprehensive and integrated development service for plasma derived products including both protein purification and prion reduction steps," Dr Burton added.
Mr. Bruce Pritchard, ProMetic's Chief Financial Officer commented, "This transaction has been structured in such a way as to ensure that the consideration paid to ARC for their shares is contingent on the future success of PRDT. In addition, for some time, ProMetic has been funding the operations of PRDT. By increasing our position in its common stock, we will have greater control over the future costs of that business, and do not intend to let these exceed the level of our recent commitment". Mr. Pritchard added: "Subject to final comment by our auditors on the accounting treatment for the consolidation of this larger stake, I anticipate that we will have greater visibility over PRDT in our own financial statements, benefiting specifically from the ability to fully consolidate future results".
About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") (www.prometic.com) is a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications derived from its proprietary Mimetic Ligand™ technology. This technology is used in large-scale purification of biologics and the elimination of pathogens. ProMetic is also active in therapeutic drug development with the mission to bring to market effective, innovative, lower cost, less toxic products for the treatment of hematological diseases and cancer. Its drug discovery platform is focused on replacing complex, expensive proteins with synthetic "drug-like" protein mimetics. Headquartered in Montreal (Canada), ProMetic has R&D facilities in the UK, the US and Canada, manufacturing facilities in the UK and business development activities in the US, Europe, Asia and in the Middle-East.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross (www.redcross.org) helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. Ms. Gail J. McGovern is President and CEO of the American National Red Cross.
About ProMetic BioSciences Ltd
Using its unique and proprietary Mimetic Ligand™ technology, ProMetic BioSciences Ltd ("PBL") specializes in the development and manufacture of robust affinity separation materials which provide very high levels of purification. This is achieved by use of small chemical affinity ligands designed to bind a target biomolecule specifically and reversibly. In view of their use for the production of therapeutics, ProMetic's affinity products are manufactured according to a strict quality system based on good manufacturing practice at PBL's ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturing facility on the Isle of Man, which completed a pounds sterling 1.5 million expansion in 2005. PBL also operates an R&D laboratory located on the Cambridge Science Park, United Kingdom.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements about ProMetic's objectives, strategies and businesses that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are "forward-looking" because they are based on our current expectations about the markets we operate in and on various estimates and assumptions. Actual events or results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks affect our business, or if our estimates or assumptions turn out to be inaccurate. Such risks and assumptions include, but are not limited to, ProMetic's ability to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialize value-added pharmaceutical products, the availability of funds and resources to pursue R&D projects, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the ability of ProMetic to take advantage of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes in economic conditions. You will find a more detailed assessment of the risks that could cause actual events or results to materially differ from our current expectations on page 25 of ProMetic's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2008, under the heading "Risk Factors". As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other reason, unless required by applicable securities laws and regulations. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless stated otherwise.