Amarantus BioSciences, Inc. Issues CEO Letter to Shareholders
Published: Nov 19, 2012
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Amarantus BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: AMBS), a biotechnology company developing new treatments and diagnostics for Parkinson's disease and Traumatic Brain Injury centered on its proprietary anti-apoptosis therapeutic protein MANF, today announced that President & CEO Gerald Commissiong issued a letter to shareholders as detailed below.
I thank you for the trust you have placed in our management team. We fully respect the value of the money you have chosen to invest in Amarantus Biosciences, selecting us over the many other investment options available. We are focused on our mission to offer meaningful products to help patients suffering from debilitating diseases, and we believe our technologies and expertise can have an impact in multiple areas.
As was recently announced, we were able to strengthen the corporation's balance sheet by raising cash and reducing liabilities. These financing transactions were vital for the Company to pay certain vendors who are critical to on-going operations, as well as raise sufficient working capital to pursue our corporate strategy, as detailed below. Our management team and Board of Directors remain extremely dedicated to the overall success of the corporation. This is evidenced by every member working without cash consideration since Amarantus became public in the spring of 2011. This has allowed all available resources to be focused on product development.
With the financing completed, we intend to expand our resources in the areas of corporate communications, regulatory affairs, and product development in order to execute upon our corporate strategy. In this effort, yesterday we received positive feedback at the CNS Summit 2012 on a presentation made by our Chief Scientist. We intend to continue to present the Company at various scientific and investor conferences in order to expose new investors and potential partners to the Company and its technologies.
Mesencephalic-Astrocyte-derived Neurotrophic Factor (MANF)
MANF is the Company's primary asset. Management believes that MANF has broad potential because it is a naturally-occurring protein produced by the body for the purpose of reducing and preventing apoptosis (Programmed Cell Death) in response to injury or disease. By manufacturing MANF and administering it to the body, Amarantus is seeking to use a regenerative medicine approach to assist the body with higher quantities of MANF in the right areas and at the right time. In so doing, we are not fundamentally changing what the body does; instead, we are helping the body do what it does better to overcome injury or disease. This approach appears to be in the mainstream of thought leadership both in academia and industry, and Amarantus is positioning itself to be a leader in the field.
Amarantus is the front-runner and primary holder of intellectual property (IP) around MANF. The Company's portfolio covering the MANF protein, gene and use as a cell therapy adjuvant is extensive and robust. We are initially focusing on the development of MANF-based protein therapeutics. In order to improve our portfolio, we are continually enhancing our IP position through the filing of additional patents, in-licensing, and acquisition of related and complementary intellectual property. These endeavours have positioned the Company for long-term success by cornering the MANF-related market and forcing future potential partners or acquirers to deal solely with Amarantus in order to get access to MANF. We will continue to prosecute this strategy to the best of our ability.
The Company has implemented a strategy centered on developing MANF in areas where partnerships with not-for-profit organizations and granting agencies are readily available. These partnerships have garnered support for Amarantus from thought-leaders and have offset some of the financial burden of running proof-of-concept studies. The Company has already taken steps to improve our prospects in future partnering discussions from a corporate structure standpoint, and we will continue to improve MANF's prospects by focusing on further differentiating MANF from its competition, especially in Parkinson's disease. To further this objective, we have added certain key advisors to assist management in preparing a winning strategy to obtain the most value from our MANF program. With these new additions, we have gained access to significant intellectual capital, as well as invaluable insight into the realm of preparing both our asset and our corporation for successful partnerships.
MANF's current lead indication is Parkinson's disease, an area where we have produced very promising results. We have also achieved positive data in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) through our collaboration with Banyan Biomarkers. Our #C4CT program has attracted significant attention among NFL players and other professional athletes who have suffered from brain injuries, and we intend to leverage those relationships to raise awareness of MANF's potential role in TBI. In addition to Parkinson's disease and TBI, MANF has shown to be effective across a broad range of indications. The recent publication of myocardial infarction data validating a MANF-based approach has added significant value to our patent portfolio. Myocardial Infarction is a $5B market where there are currently no approved drugs to address the ischemia and reperfusion related injuries associated with heart attacks.
Perhaps most interesting from a time-to-market standpoint, is the emerging evidence that MANF has activity in certain rare and ultra-rare orphan diseases. The orphan drug strategy that management is pursuing will seek a path to commercialize MANF as expeditiously and cost-effectively as possible, and potentially faster than Parkinson's, Traumatic Brain Injury or Myocardial Infarction. We are evaluating the possibilities of the MANF program in various orphan disease areas through our recent grant from the Center of Excellence for Apoptosis Research and collaborations with academic labs. We expect this process to be completed within a calendar year, and we will be updating shareholders on an on-going basis regarding results of experiments as data becomes available. The key advantage to this strategy is that the Investigational New Drug (IND) protocols required for our Parkinson's program will overlap with our orphan drug program; therefore, an additional IND should be attainable in the same timeframe.
NuroPro & LymPro
Amarantus licensed the NuroPro Parkinson's disease Blood Test in January 2012. NuroPro identifies various markers in the blood of patients suffering from Parkinson's disease that do not appear in the blood of non-diseased people. The importance of this asset cannot be overstated. The early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease is the gating step to evaluating new treatment options on patients that have the highest likelihood of responding. The development of NuroPro will further enable our MANF program by giving the Company critical insight into the overall process of patient selection, and may allow us to fine-tune our development protocols towards the identification of a sub-population of Parkinson's patients most likely to respond to MANF. We are currently recruiting the expertise required to advance the blood test, as NuroPro may provide Amarantus a path to revenue generation sooner than with MANF alone.
The Company previously announced that we have acquired an exclusive option to license the LymPro Alzheimer's disease Blood Test from Memory Dx (formerly Provista Life Sciences). The Company is continuing to negotiate that license with the intent of pairing LymPro with NuroPro and presenting a compelling package of diagnostic assets.
We will continue to update shareholders on advancement of both NuroPro and LymPro. In addition, management constantly evaluates the competitive landscape for complementary product candidates that could improve the overall prospects of the Company in the most cost-effective manner possible.
We are at a very exciting time here at Amarantus. We have secured the resources and advisors to advance our current assets and expand our business development efforts. We will implement this strategy by honing in on our core program, MANF, and finding innovative solutions to further enable MANF's development and secure Amarantus' ownership of the MANF space. We are encouraged by our data to date, and continue to believe the asset has blockbuster potential.
Your Board of Directors and management team remain dedicated to improving the lives of patients suffering from a variety of illnesses and diseases. We are motivated by the prospects of the company, and our primary focus remains: progressing our assets to help patients and increase shareholder value. I would like to personally thank each of you, and will work to ensure your trust is maintained as Amarantus grows.
Gerald E. Commissiong
President & Chief Executive Officer
About Amarantus BioSciences, Inc.
Amarantus BioSciences, Inc. is a development-stage biotechnology company founded in January 2008. The Company has a focus on developing certain biologics surrounding the intellectual property and proprietary technologies it owns to treat and/or diagnose Parkinson's disease, Traumatic Brain Injury and other human diseases. The Company owns the intellectual property rights to a therapeutic protein known as Mesencephalic-Astrocyte-derived Neurotrophic Factor ("MANF") and is developing MANF-based products as treatments for brain disorders. The Company also is a Founding Member of the Coalition for Concussion Treatment (#C4CT), a movement initiated in collaboration with Brewer Sports International seeking to raise awareness of new treatments in development for concussions and nervous-system disorders. For further information please visit www.Amarantus.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the possible benefits of MANF therapeutic applications and/or advantages presented by Amarantus' PhenoGuard technology, as well as statements about expectations, plans and prospects of the development of Amarantus' new product candidates. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including the risks that the anticipated benefits of the therapeutic drug candidates or discovery platforms, as well as the risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to the development of Amarantus' new product candidates, including those identified under "Risk Factors" in Amarantus' most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and in other filings Amarantus periodically makes with the SEC. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements Amarantus does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this presentation. This press release does not represent an offer to buy or sell securities.
Amarantus BioSciences, Inc.
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SOURCE Amarantus BioSciences, Inc.