January 30, 2007 10:30 ET

IBEX Signs Agreement for Acquisition of Garvinci Inc.

Positions IBEX as Specialty Pharmaceutical Company with Marketed Products in Arthritis and Women's Health

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 30, 2007) - IBEX Technologies Inc. (TSX:IBT) today announced that it has entered into an agreement for the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Garvinci Inc., a private Montreal firm with the Canadian distribution rights for a pipeline of arthritis and women's health products. One of these, an osteoarthritis product, is currently approved and being marketed by Garvinci in Canada, while a second, an emergency contraceptive pill has recently been approved and is expected to be introduced in the second quarter of 2007 through one of Canada's leading pharmaceutical companies.

Paul Baehr, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBEX, commented on the transaction: "This transaction is the first step in moving IBEX from a discovery and development company to a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on acquiring marketing rights to already-approved products in Canada, and products which have been approved in other jurisdictions and which will be registered for sale in Canada. The Garvinci transaction will provide IBEX with an approved product, in one of our key target areas, osteoarthritis, and the recently-approved, morning-after pill (NorLevo®) for emergency contraception. This transaction is an outgrowth of our strategic review initiated in the summer of 2006".

Garvinci will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBEX and will be managed by Jean- Francois Gareau, President and founder of Garvinci. Mr. Gareau, Garvinci President said: "IBEX provides Garvinci with an experienced management team, an enlarged infrastructure and public market positioning that will be important for us as we continue our growth in the arthritis and women's health markets".

Details of the Transaction

As part of the transaction, IBEX will issue to the Garvinci shareholders on closing 15,333,333 new common shares, equal to 40% of the common shares that will be outstanding after the transaction, and 1,916,667 non-voting preferred shares. As a result, Mr. Gareau will become IBEX's largest shareholder. The non-voting preferred shares will be convertible into IBEX common shares on a one-for-one basis commencing one year from the date of closing. IBEX will also issue an additional 5,516,667 non-voting preferred shares to the Garvinci shareholders at closing, which will be convertible into IBEX common shares on a one-for-one basis upon the achievement of certain milestones by Garvinci. In addition, IBEX will pay $500,000 in cash on closing and will make additional payments to Garvinci shareholders in cash and/or shares upon the achievement by Garvinci of certain product-related approvals and sales milestones.

IBEX Technologies, Inc./Agreement for Acquisition of Garvinci, Inc.

As part of the transaction, IBEX has advanced $625,000 to Garvinci, to cover introductory marketing and other expenses. IBEX may extend other credit facilities to Garvinci prior to closing. In the event that the transaction does not close, any outstanding loans will be repaid by Garvinci at the earlier of: i) 12 months from the date discussions between the parties in connection with the transaction terminate, or ii) the date on which Garvinci enters into a business combination with a third party.

The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval, including that of the Toronto Stock Exchange, IBEX shareholder approval, and the satisfaction of certain conditions by Garvinci. Closing is expected to occur in April 2007.

About Garvinci

Garvinci is a privately-held Canadian company focused on arthritis and women's health. The Company was founded in 2001 by Jean-Francois Gareau, a Montreal entrepreneur. Garvinci's principal assets are the Canadian distribution rights to a line of ostearthritis products and the Canadian distribution rights to the morning after pill NorLevo® from the French company, Laboratoire HRA Pharma S.A.

The osteoarthritis products include a visco-supplement product to relieve the symptomatic pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hip, shoulder and knee. The pipeline also includes an oral interleukin I inhibitor for the symptomatic relief of osteoarthritis which has been on the market in more than 20 countries and for which the Canadian filing for approval is expected in the next 24 months. Garvinci is also in discussions concerning Canadian rights to additional products such as a visco-supplement for smaller joint and a synovial fluid replacement product for relief of pain following arthroscopy.

Garvinci has received Notice of Compliance and a DIN number from Health Canada for the HRA Pharma product NorLevo®, a morning-after emergency contraceptive pill, and is currently in discussions with a senior pharmaceutical company to supplement Garvinci's marketing capabilities.

About IBEX

IBEX markets a number of products, including its high-purity proprietary enzymes (heparinases and chondroitinases), as well as a series of arthritis and kallikrein-based assays. IBEX Heparinase I is used in many leading hemostasis monitoring devices, while IBEX arthritis assays are used by leading pharmaceutical companies for research purposes.

As part of a strategic review initiated in the summer of 2006, IBEX decided to shift focus away from its traditional discovery and development model in favour of a revenue driven model.

The new IBEX will focus on acquiring rights to prescription products which are already approved in Canada or other jurisdictions. The Company will continue to benefit from its profitable specialty enzymes and arthritis assays business.

For more information, please visit the Company's web site at www.ibex.ca.

Safe Harbor Statement

All of the statements contained in this news release, other than statements of fact that are independently verifiable at the date hereof, are forward-looking statements. Such statements, based as they are on the current expectations of management, inherently involve numerous risks and uncertainties, known and unknown. Some examples of known risks are: the impact of general economic conditions, general conditions in the pharmaceutical industry, changes in the regulatory environment in the jurisdictions in which IBEX does business, stock market volatility, fluctuations in costs, and changes to the competitive environment due to consolidation or otherwise. Consequently, actual future results may differ materially from the anticipated results expressed in the forward-looking statements. IBEX disclaims any intention or obligation to update these statements.

Contact Information

  • IBEX Technologies Inc.
    Paul Baehr
    President & CEO
    LaVoie Group
    Donna LaVoie
    978-745-4200, x103