BUFFALO GROVE, Ill., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Efoora, Inc. (Efoora), today announced that it has entered into a Cooperation Agreement (the "Agreement") with Genesis Bioventures, Inc. , Corgenix Medical Corporation (BULLETIN BOARD: CONX) , and Prion Developmental Laboratories, Inc. collectively the "Parties".
Efoora owns approximately 60% of Prion Developmental Laboratories, Inc. (PDL), while Genesis Bioventures, Inc. (GBI) owns approximately 33%, with the balance held by directors, officers and management of PDL. GBI and Corgenix Medical Corporation (Corgenix) have entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger that is expected to be completed on or before August 31, 2004.
The merged company, which will be known as Genesis Bioventures, plans to deliver to Efoora and the balance of the PDL shareholders, a written offer to exchange Common Stock of GBI for all of the share interests of PDL not held by GBI. The Agreement allows for an effective first right of acquisition of all of the interests of Efoora and the PDL shareholders, in PDL. This written offer will be subject to a completed valuation of PDL performed by an accredited appraiser, agreed on by the Parties. Should such a transaction occur, Efoora plans to distribute the exchanged GBI shares to the Efoora shareholders.
The Agreement also provides for financial cooperation as well as scientific and technical cooperation between the Parties, with emphasis on developing PDL's products. PDL is continuing to develop its rapid strip test to detect Mad Cow Disease through the evaluation process in the European Union.
PDL is the only company with a working patent-pending prototype for a prion-protein, rapid, hand held test for the detection of mad cow disease -- specifically developed for on-site slaughterhouse testing. PDL uses the term 'rapid test' because the entire process can be completed on site in approximately 40 minutes or less, as compared to the minimum of 4.5 hours and a complete lab with technicians that are required for the tests presently being used.
PDL recently received USDA approval for its rapid strip test to detect Chronic Wasting Disease, which is similar to Mad Cow Disease but affects deer and elk. The US Patent and Trademark Office recently issued a first action notice to PDL for proprietary buffer formulations allowing four separate claims regarding the strip test. This will aid in protecting PDL's position as the first 'truly rapid, hand-held' test, taking less than one hour, for point of use testing of prion diseases.
PDL's current estimate for sales of its product worldwide, excluding the US, is approximately 100 million animals annually. As of this date, less than half of those animals, slated for human consumption, are being tested. This is mainly due to the cost incurred from both the actual test as well the slow down of slaughterhouse production. PDL's management believes their quick, easy to use, cost effective, hand held BSE test does now and will continue to have an enormous demand within the cattle industry.
Steven Kay of Petaluma, editor and publisher of Cattle Buyers Weekly estimated in an article in April's Meat and Poultry magazine, that the export ban may be costing the US meat industry and the nations economy "anywhere from $100 to $300 million per week" given the ripple effect of lost income and sales. In addition, Kay estimates that at least 1,000 jobs have been lost in meat-packing and other related fields.
The total US Beef production in the year 2003 was an estimated 26.3 billion pounds, valued at $27 billion dollars. 2.58 billion pounds, worth an estimated $3.9 billion, was exported according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Agriculture secretary Ann Veneman recently said beef exports would fall approximately 83% in the year 2004 due to concerns regarding mad cow disease. Losses at the farm level in the beef industry will probably be $2 billion dollars. In the five months since the first head of cattle in the US tested positive for mad cow disease, up to 58 countries world wide, still have some form of ban on US beef. Japan, previously the biggest importer of US beef, approximately $1.2 billion dollars in the year 2003, made up nearly a third of the US export market.
Japan, as of this date, still stands firm that it will not open its doors to the US beef industry until 100% testing has been adopted by the US cattle industry. Japan has the toughest testing regulations in the world today, which stands at 100% testing for all cattle slated for human consumption. The US plans to expand its BSE testing up to approximately 400,000 animals within 18 months of the approximately 43 million animals slaughtered annually. This still represents only approximately 1% of total animals slaughtered for human consumption.
David Grosky, CEO and Chairman of PDL, stated, "This agreement will benefit all parties involved by maximizing the collective expertise of the companies to bring their products in development to market sooner than they would be able to individually. As a result, shareholders will realize increased value of their holdings as each product achieves success."
Efoora Inc. is a developer of rapid diagnostic tests and biosensors for a variety of diseases. Efoora's flagship assay, the Efoora Rapid HIV test recently completed U.S. clinical trials, and is under review by the FDA. In addition, Efoora is developing rapid diagnostic assays and biosensors for a variety of other diseases and substances of abuse. Efoora's test format utilizes an innovative biochemical approach developed as a result of years of research that yields both consistent and reproducible assays compliant under both GLP and GMP. Efoora's assays are manufactured using Virotek's proprietary, cost-saving technology. Virotek is the wholly owned in-vitro diagnostic and medical device manufacturing subsidiary of Efoora. For more information, please visit http://www.efoora.com/ or contact David Grosky, CEO and Chairman of Prion at (847) 634-6400.
About Prion Developmental Laboratories
Prion Developmental Laboratories, Inc. (PDL) is a subsidiary of Efoora Inc. dedicated to the design, development, and production of rapid diagnostic tests for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE's) in animals and humans. PDL utilizes the manufacturing technology of the Efoora subsidiary Virotek, the wholly owned, in-vitro diagnostic and medical device- manufacturing subsidiary of Efoora. For more information about PDL, please visit http://www.prionlabs.com/ .
About Genesis Bioventures
Genesis Bioventures, Inc. (GBI) is a biomedical development corporation focusing on the development and marketing of novel diagnostics. The Company's wholly owned subsidiary, Biomedical Diagnostics, LLC, specializes in the development of cancer diagnostics with its first product being the MSA as a screen for breast cancer risk. In addition, the Company has equity interest in Prion Developmental Laboratories, Inc., which specializes in the development of diagnostic tests to detect prion disease. For more information about Genesis Bioventures, please visit http://www.gnsbio.com/ or telephone (604) 542-0820.
Corgenix is a leader in the development and manufacturing of anti- Phospholipid test kits, being the first on the market with an FDA cleared assay for anti-Cardiolipin (aCL), and is still the only manufacturer of both an FDA cleared anti-Phosphatidylserine (aPS) and an anti-Prothrombin (aPT) test kit. Corgenix is based in metropolitan Denver and its primary area of focus is providing state-of-the-art products for the serologic diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease, vascular biology, liver disease and autoimmune disorders. Corgenix diagnostic products are commercialized for use in clinical laboratories throughout the world. For more information on Corgenix, please visit http://www.corgenix.com/ or telephone (303) 457-4345.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Any statements in this press release that relate to the Company's expectations are forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Since this information may involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time, the Company's actual results may differ materially from expected results. Additional risks associated with Genesis Bioventures' business can be found in its periodic filings with the SEC.