SOURCE: Pronova BioPharma ASA

September 08, 2009 11:10 ET

Pronova BioPharma receives 2009 Frost & Sullivan Award for Excellence in Financial & Risk Management

LYSAKER, NORWAY--(Marketwire - September 8, 2009) -

8 September 2009, Lysaker, Norway: Pronova BioPharma ASA (OSE: PRON.OL) ("Pronova BioPharma" or "the company") today announces that it has been awarded the 2009 Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Financial & Risk Management Award in the Global Heart Health Ingredients market for its lead product Omacor®/LovazaTM, the first and only EU- and FDA-approved omega-3 derived prescription drug.

The Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Financial & Risk Management Awards are presented annually to companies that demonstrate outstanding management of current market conditions, besides preparing for the future, above others within their respective industries. This award recognises Pronova BioPharma's excellent product quality and favourable customer opinions, continued strong customer demand for Omacor/Lovaza, innovation supporting next generation omega-3 derived products (through ongoing collaborations in indications such as heart failure, atrial fibrillation and cardiac disease in type II diabetic patients) and sound operational and financial risk management practices.

"An outstanding business model resulting in strong operational performance coupled with excellence in working capital management has been instrumental in enhancing the company's ROCE and ROE," said Shrikanth S, Senior Research Analyst and Team Leader, Business & Financial, Frost & Sullivan. "Pronova BioPharma has a vision to launch new areas of product application as well as new indications for its API. Ongoing collaborations to develop the use of its API as a monotherapy for indications such as atrial fibrillation, heart failure and as part of primary prevention of cardiac disease in type II diabetic patients are being monitored. Moreover, the company is investing in projects and preclinical studies for next generation omega-3 derived products."

Morten Jurs, CEO and President of Pronova BioPharma, said: "This award is a tribute to the increasing global end-user demand for Omacor/Lovaza which has contributed to Pronova BioPharma's continued excellent revenue and EBITDA growth. We strive for operational excellence and our new plant in Kalundborg will significantly enhance our ability to meet strong customer demand, with first commercial shipments anticipated in Q1 2010. With global sales reaching blockbuster level in Q2 2009, with a global run-rate in June of approximately USD 1.2 billion, we look forward to the continued uptake of this important product worldwide."


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Award description

Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Financial & Risk Management Award is presented to the company that best manages current market conditions, besides preparing for the future. The recipient has undertaken several risk management and mitigation practices by closely monitoring earnings per share (EPS), coverage ratios, free cash flow management, and efficient working capital management. The financial management has created or maintained an organization that is highly efficient with its resources. To be cost-competitive, the recipient has made efforts to bring about improvements in manufacturing efficiencies by impressive growth in sales, increased margins, better return on assets (ROA), and effective debt-equity management, adding value for investors.

About Pronova BioPharma

Pronova BioPharma is a global leader in the research, development and manufacture of marine-originated omega-3 derived pharmaceutical products. Pronova BioPharma's first commercialized product is branded as Omacor® in a number of countries throughout Europe and Asia and as LovazaTM in the United States. The product is manufactured at the Company's plant in Sandefjord, Norway using a unique and complex process. An additional manufacturing plant is under construction in Kalundborg, Denmark and is expected to be operational in first quarter 2010.

Omacor/Lovaza is the first and only EU- and FDA-approved omega-3 derived prescription drug. The drug is prescribed as an adjunct to diet for the treatment of elevated levels of triglycerides in humans, a condition known as hypertriglyceridemia (HTG), a form of dyslipidemia (or disorder of lipid metabolism). Very high triglycerides have been linked to a number of cardiovascular diseases. Omacor is also approved in key European and certain Asian markets for the secondary prevention of post-myocardial infarction, or Post-MI, the period following the initial survival of a heart attack.

Omacor/Lovaza has been demonstrated in a number of clinical trials to be a potent triglyceride-lowering agent as a monotherapy. It has been documented to be efficacious, safe, and highly complementary to other lipid-lowering agents, such as statins. In addition, Pronova BioPharma is involved in various projects to develop Omacor/Lovaza in a number of cardiovascular indications, including as a combination therapy with statins for mixed dyslipidemia which management believe represents a major market opportunity for the Company.

Pronova BioPharma's global network of license and distribution partners includes: GlaxoSmithKline PLC (US), Takeda Pharmaceutical (Japan), Prospa (Italy) and Solvay (UK, Germany and others). The combined sales force from this network focused on the sale of Omacor/Lovaza is approximately 2,650 sales representatives. Omacor/Lovaza was launched in 2005 in the US and in major European markets, such as France and Spain. IMS Health reports that global end-user sales of the product have increased from US$144 million in 2005 to US$778 million in 2008. The current annual run rate for end-user sales is estimated at US$953 million (as of December 2008), and the Company estimates that approximately 750,000 patients are currently on a prescription for Omacor/Lovaza.

Pronova BioPharma had revenues of NOK 1,302 million and EBITDA of NOK 603 million in 2008. The company is listed at Oslo Børs. See for more information.

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