Founded in 1994, Genesis is a New Zealand-based biotechnology company, listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges. It has built a broad therapeutic development platform targeting immune disorders and cancer and is focusing on developing RNAi therapeutics. The company has an extensive patent portfolio.
Genesis has taken three products to Phase II clinical studies in collaboration with a number of international companies including Immunex (now Amgen) and Corixa (now GSK).
AgriGenesis Biosciences Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Genesis, focused on Agbio projects.
BioJoule Ltd, another subsidiary, is developing biofuels and biomaterials such as ethanol and lignin by growing and refining shrubby Salix.
Genesis utilised RNA interference technology in its plant research program since the mid 1990s and has successfully transferred this expertise in silencing technology to develop RNAi therapeutics for humans. We are targeting changes in nutrient uptake and energy production, two important aspects of cellular physiology that differ between tumor and normal cells. We aim to identify siRNAs that lead to cancer cell death, and those that act synergistically with chemotherapeutic drugs in a combinatorial approach.
Genesis has discovered and patented Zyrogen, the fifth member of the fibroblast growth factor receptor family (FGFR5), a unique cell surface molecule. The data collected to date provides compelling evidence of Zyrogen’s potential as a therapeutic target in three areas: autoimmune disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjõgrens syndrome (SS), osteoporosis and as an adjuvant to promote a therapeutic immune response. A neutralising antibody is in pre-clinical development.
MED-1™ Tuberculosis Vaccine
This vaccine has demonstrated an ability to reduce levels of infection in mice infected with M. tuberculosis.
Recrystalisation Inhibition Proteins
Genesis has identified a family of proteins in pasture grasses that reduce the size of ice crystals during freezing and, under different conditions, accelerate the evaporation of water from solutions. These molecules are active at low protein concentrations (ppm) and can be made by recombinant DNA techniques. Numerous application s in food and industrial uses are likely.
Plant Long Distance Signalling Molecules
Genesis has analysed the phloem sap and identified signaling genes acting within the vasculature of plants. Genesis has developed the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of phloem mobile transcripts, proteins and small RNA. Knowledge of this long distance regulatory network will assist development of economically important traits for a range of whole plant processes.
Stephen Hall, Chief Executive
Dr Greg Murison, CSO
Dr Anand Kumble, Head of Product Development
Dr Diana Gash, Head of Clinical Development
Dr Jim Watson, Founder Scientist
Dr Elizabeth Visser, Intellectual Property Manager
Board of Directors
Aki von Roy, Inventages, Switzerland
Dr Steve Gillis, ARCH Venture Partners, Seattle
Dr Andy Gearing, Biocomm, Melbourne, Australia
Dr Stewart Washer, Phylogica, Perth, Australia
Jim McLean, Chairman NZ Bio
Professor Bruce Baguley, BSc MSc(Hons) PhD FRSNZ Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre at the University of Auckland
Dr Mark McKeage, MBChB MMedSc PhD University of Auckland and Auckland City Hospital
Last Updated: 04-17-2007