Procrea reches a private financing agreement with SGF Santé inc.
Montréal, December 18, 2000 – PROCREA Biosciences Inc. is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with SGF Santé Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec, to finance its research and development projects in endometriosis and genomics. SGF Santé will invest up to $6 million in PROCREA in the form of preferred shares at $1.70 per share and subscription warrants.
“The present investment in PROCREA will accelerate the development of an innovating research program resulting from Québec know-how and eliminate the possibility that this technological breakthrough be accomplished by foreign interests”, declared the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for the Economy and Finance, Bernard Landry.
“This is an important agreement allowing PROCREA to continue developing and to start marketing its technologies”, said Pierre Laurin, Chair of the Board of Directors of PROCREA Biosciences. “In the coming year, PROCREA expects to finalize the development of METRIOTEST™, a screening test for endometriosis and sign the first cooperation agreements for RAM Genomics™, PROCREA’s genome mapping platform”, he added.
“We are very happy that PROCREA is presenting the first opportunity for SGF Santé to invest in human genomics. We cannot miss this opportunity to create in Québec a vorldwide expertise in this very promising field of the biopharmaceutical industry. Furthermore, the growth potential is extremely interesting since the product offered meets an urgent medical need which is presently unsatisfied”, said Claude Blanchet, Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of SGF.
PROCREA’s Research and Development Division has developed a functional genome mapping program based on an innovative concept using RAM Genomics™ technology which, starting from a known gene, will be able to quickly identify regulator genes and sequences that interact and are probably involved in common pathological processes. RAM Genomics™ will produce a higher level of information than that provided by characterization of the human genome.
METRIOTEST™ is a screening test for endometriosis, a disease that affects 10% of women in North America. Its treatment is often delayed by several years because of the lack of a non-invasive diagnostic method. METRIOTEST™ is based on immunological markers discovered by PROCREA. Through a simple biopsy of the uterus done in a doctor’s office, it will be able to quickly identify women at high risk of presenting endometriosis, making early treatment possible and a significant improvement in the quality of life of these patients. PROCREA has also identified genetic markers related to endometriosis that could be useful in developing a genetic test and new therapeutic approaches.
SGF Santé Inc. is a subsidiary of SGF whose mission is to carry out economic development projects meeting normal profitability requirements, in collaboration with business partners. Since it was restructured in 1998, SGF has generated investments of about $2 billion, creating over 9,000 direct and indirect jobs in the operating phase, not counting the thousands of jobs created during the construction phase. As at December 31, 1999, SGF’s consolidated assets totalled close to $2 billion. SGF has 50 international partners operating in Québec.
PROCREA, which is ISO 9001 certified, is a private biotechnology centre whose activities converge on a single goal: to use biotechnologies to innovate in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases related to reproductive medicine, especially in human infertility and genetics.
The activities of PROCREA’s Research and Development Division are amplified by synergy with its two other subsidiaries, Clinical Services (Fertility Centre and Genetic Services) and Diagnostic Laboratories (prenatal screening and diagnosis). For more information see PROCREA’s website at: www.procrea.com
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Bertrand F. Bolduc
Vice-President, Business Strategy and Development
PROCREA Biosciences Inc.
Director of Communications
Société générale de financement du Québec