ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

May 07, 2009 17:51 ET

ProMetic Reports Highlights of Its Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders

Q1 2009 revenues projected to increase between 100% and 120% versus Q1 2008

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 7, 2009) - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI) ("ProMetic") reports on the highlights of its Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders (the "Meeting") held on May 6, 2009.

Overview of 2008

An overview of ProMetic's activities for 2008 demonstrated that the Company had a solid performance during that period, this despite the difficult global economic situation. ProMetic met its revenue guidance target for its Protein Technologies Unit with $10.2 M in revenues, of which $4.0 M were generated in the last quarter of 2008. The strategic cost reduction plan initiated by ProMetic's management team, the repayment of $3.8 M in long-term debt, and close monitoring of the Company's operating expenses have resulted in a strengthening of ProMetic's EBITDA position and allowed the Company to access new debt instruments, including a repayable grant from the Isle of Man Department of Trade and Industry.

Financials Results - Estimated projections for Q1 2009

During the Meeting guidance was given regarding the Company's estimated financial projections for the first quarter of 2009 by indicating that revenues are anticipated to be in the range of $3.5 M to $4.0 M compared to $1.8 M for the first quarter of 2008, which represents an improvement of approximately 100% to 120% over the figures for that same period last year.

Operating expenses are expected to decrease by $1.0 M to approximately $5.2 M - $5.5 M for the first quarter of 2009 compared to $6.3 M for the first quarter of 2008.

The EBITDA for the first quarter of 2009 is estimated to improve by over $3.0 M and be in the range of ($1.5 M) to ($1.7 M) compared to ($4.6 M) for the same period in 2008.

Balance Sheet Improvements

ProMetic informed on a number of measures presently under discussion to improve its balance sheet, including monetization of certain large value contracts and license agreements and other financial support from strategic customers and partners. The Company is also discussing other non-dilutive forms of credit and development support with the governments of Quebec and Canada.

Protein Technologies

Bioseparation products

The underlying sales of our core bioseparation business are providing a solid base of recurring annuity revenue. Presently 12 products that have received regulatory approval by the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") or the European Medicines Agency incorporate ProMetic's protein technologies in their manufacturing process. ProMetic's products are, by definition, locked into the "Production Drug Master Files" of these pharmaceutical products. In addition, more than 20 products at various development stages currently incorporate ProMetic's technologies in their manufacturing processes. As a result, ProMetic is presently in discussion with existing and new clients for either expansion or initiation of use of its protein technology products, thus adding to the core business' revenue stream.

Prion capture resin for use at industrial scale

PRDT's prion capture resin is used at industrial scale by companies that are involved in the blood industry, as is the case with Octapharma AG ("Octapharma") with its Octaplas® solvent / detergent treated plasma product. Octapharma has taken a proactive stance against vCJD by incorporating the prion capture resin into the manufacturing process for this product, thus improving the prion safety margin. Furthermore, the prion capture technology is presently being evaluated by numerous companies.

P-Capt® filter

In the wake of new cases of vCJD and recent reports suggesting that vCJD could be contracted through plasma products, MacoPharma AG ("MacoPharma") is persisting with its lobbying efforts at various governmental levels, including the House of Commons, House of Lords and Ministerial ranks. MacoPharma and ProMetic have co-founded the Blood Coalition Group with the aim of educating the general public and special interest groups on the prion reduction technologies, including the P-Capt® filter.

Pre-adoption trials are in advanced stages, indicating that the P-Capt® filtered blood is well tolerated, with no causes for concern. Furthermore, P-Capt® filters are already being used in a controlled number of patients in Ireland.


The anemia market, for which PBI-1402 was originally destined, has undergone radical changes over the last year following on the report published in March of 2008 by the FDA Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee and the subsequent label warnings that restricted the use of erythropoietin stimulating agents ("ESAs") in patients suffering from cancer. The FDA redefined the therapeutic targets and safety profile for ESAs and mandated for a lowered hemoglobin level, a reduction in the need of blood transfusions as the main clinical objectives for ESAs and that compounds in development demonstrate that they do not exacerbate tumor growth in cancer patients. This changing landscape resulted in pharmaceutical companies interested in the anemia market to re-evaluation their strategies.

As a result, ProMetic has brought forward data demonstrating that PBI-1402 has a distinct mechanism of action than that of ESAs, that its safety profile does not exacerbate tumor growth and that it does not raise hemoglobin to unsafe levels.

In addition, data compiled by ProMetic's scientists indicate that PBI-1402 could be efficacious in different conditions relating to chronic kidney diseases and furthermore, that it demonstrated nephroprotective properties in animal models.

The changing anemia market has provided new opportunities for PBI-1402. In order to capitalize on these opportunities ProMetic has retained the services of experienced advisors to augment the in-house business development initiates underway. In this respect, Sumitomo Corporation of America will advise on partnering for the Japanese market; Healthios and HealthPro BioVentures have been retained for the North American and European Markets.


The following were nominated to ProMetic's Board of Directors: Mr. G.F. Kym Anthony, Chair of DFG Investment Advisers, Dr. John Bienenstock, Professor of Medicine and Pathology at McMaster University, Mr. Robert Lacroix, Senior Vice-President of CTI Capital Securities, Mr. Pierre Laurin, President of ProMetic, Mrs. Louise Menard, President of Groupe Mefor inc., Mr. Paul Mesburis, Senior Portfolio Manager, Excel Funds Management Inc., Dr. Roger Perrault, Independent Director, Mr. Bruce Wendel, Executive Vice-President, Corporate Development of Abraxis BioScience Inc., and Mr. Benjamin Wygodny, President of Angus Partnership. Mrs. Menard, Mr. Mesburis and Dr. Perrault are newly elected to ProMetic's Board of Directors.

ProMetic would like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing members of the Board, Messrs. Roger Garon and Barry Gibson for their valuable contributions over the years.

About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") ( 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 hematology 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 U.K., the U.S. and Canada, manufacturing facilities in the U.K. and business development activities in the US, Europe, Asia and in the Middle-East.

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 and Uncertainties related to ProMetic's business". 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 indicated otherwise.

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