Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. Announces Year-End Results for Bioniche Inc.
London, Ontario (November 15, 1999) ñ Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (BNC: TSE, ME) ñ today reported the financial results for Bioniche Inc. for the year ended June 30, 1999. All figures, unless otherwise quoted are in Canadian dollars.
On September 1, 1999, subsequent to the company's year end, Bioniche Inc. completed the merger with Renaissance Life Sciences (Renaissance) and Vetrepharm Animal Health (Vetrepharm) to form Bioniche Life Sciences Inc., a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of proprietary and non-proprietary technologies for both the human and animal health markets. Renaissance was a holding company with shareholdings in Vetrepharm and Bioniche Inc. Vetrepharm, founded in 1979, is the largest Canadian-owned animal health company.
Bioniche Inc. reported consolidated revenues for the year ended June 30, 1999 of $6.9 million versus $5.6 million in 1998, representing a 24% increase. These revenues consist of proprietary product sales and the manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products through the Bioniche Pharma division. Bionicheís proprietary products include: CystistatÆ, for the treatment of Interstitial Cystitis, a painful, debilitating bladder condition and SuplasynÆ, for the treatment of Osteoarthritis.
The consolidated gross profit was $3.2 million in 1999, compared to $2.3 million in 1998, representing an increase of 35% over the previous year. Gross profit as a percentage of sales was 46%, an improvement over 1998 results of 42%.
Total operating expenses for the year ended June 30, 1999 were $6.6 million, up slightly from the $6.0 million recorded in the prior period. Research and development expenditures represented 55% of total expenses in 1999 or $3.7 million as compared to 49% in 1998, or $2.9 million. This increase is mainly due to the commencement of the Phase I/II Clinical trial for the Companyís proprietary technology Mycobacterial Cell Wall complex for the treatment of bladder cancer. Approval for the Investigational New Drug (IND) submission was announced earlier this year.
For the fiscal year ended June 30, 1999, Bioniche Inc. recorded a net loss of $3.5 million or $0.08 per share, compared to a net loss of $3.7 million or $0.10 per share in 1998.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Graeme McRae, President and CEO of Bioniche Life Sciences and former Vice Chairman of Bioniche Inc. stated "We are quite pleased with Bioniche Inc.ís year end results. The 24% increase in consolidated revenues reflect steady growth in our Pharma division and a growing acceptance for SuplasynÆ and CystistatÆ."
Mr. McRae also commented on the companyís outlook, adding: "The amalgamation signals the start of a new period of growth and opportunity for our Company. Fueling this growth will be the expanding business of Vetrepharm and Bioniche Pharma. The expansion of markets for our proprietary products will positively impact the Therapeutics Divisionís revenue growth. With the successful completion of the amalgamation, we feel the Company is well positioned for the new millennium, as a fully integrated, innovative and diversified biopharmaceutical company, operating in both the human and animal health markets."
Bioniche Life Sciences announced the Board of Directors has approved a proposed relocation to Belleville, Ontario. In July 1999, Renaissance acquired a 137,000 square foot biotechnology pilot plant and manufacturing facility in Belleville. The pharmaceutical manufacturing facility and related land were purchased from Bristol-Myers Squibb, to accommodate anticipated production in the Vetrepharm Animal Health and Bioniche Therapeutics divisions. Bioniche is planning to move manufacturing operations and research and development activities, as well as its corporate offices to the Belleville site. The relocation is anticipated to be completed by June 30, 2000.
This facility, once fully renovated will have space for laboratories and production of Folltropin, Vetrepharmís lead product, animal vaccines and the companyís proprietary Mycobacterial cell wall complex formulations (MCC). "We are very excited about our planned relocation to Belleville", added McRae. "This new facility will have sufficient capacity to supply the growing demand for Folltropin, as well as additional protein purification products and animal vaccines as they become licensed. In addition, bringing all of our operations under one roof will provide tremendous operational efficiencies and other benefits for our Company. "
Pre-clinical research activities in human health will still be centered at the Companyís laboratories located at the Biotechnology Research Institute in Montreal, a division of the National Research Council of Canada. The Companyís Pharmaceutical division, Bioniche Pharma, will continue operations from its cGMP manufacturing facility in Galway, Ireland.
Bioniche also announced the appointment of two additional members to its Board of Directors, Dr. Stan Alkemade, a veterinarian and former Technical Director of Vetrepharm Canada Inc. and Mohamed Rachid, the Chairman & CEO of the Palestinian Commercial Services Company, expanding the Board to a total of nine members.
Dr. Stan Alkemade, received his veterinary degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He emigrated to Canada in 1971 and ran a mixed veterinary practice in Ontario for the next ten years. In 1986, he joined Vetrepharm Canada Inc. as Technical Director and, for ten years, was responsible for research and development, product registrations, corporate technical services and facilities design. Dr. Alkemade is now the President of BioMedEx Inc., a project management firm for the pharmaceutical industry.
Mr. Rachid has been the Chairman and CEO of the Palestinian Commercial Services Company for five years and also serves on a number of corporate boards, including the Palestinian Telecommunication Company and the Palestinian Electricity Company.
Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. is a leading Canadian biopharmaceutical company which develops, supplies and manufactures products for human and veterinary markets worldwide. The Company employs 130 qualified people through three operating divisions; Vetrepharm Animal Health, Bioniche Therapeutics and Bioniche Pharma.
Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) and the Montreal Exchange (ME) under the symbol "BNC" and currently has 22,297,030 shares outstanding.
For further information contact:
Natalie Godbout Manager, Corporate Communications Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. Toll Free: (800) 567-2028 firstname.lastname@example.org
Barry Hildred Investor Relations The Equicom Group Tel: (416) 815-0700 ext. 244 Fax: (416) 815-0080 email@example.com