Archive | Genesis Research

Genesis Research ends Mariposa merger talks

Published 20 July 2012

NZX-listed biotechnology company Genesis Research & Development Corp Ltd said yesterday the merger talks begun 6 months ago with unlisted public Australian pharmaceutical development company Mariposa Health Ltd were over.

Those merger talks began 3 months after Genesis ended its business dealings with May Wang, the controversial Chinese entrepreneur who fronted UBNZ Funds Management Ltd, which had taken a 19.5% stake in Genesis in mid-2010 and looked like a saviour 2 months after Genesis had suspended operations for lack of funding.

Genesis chief executive Stephen Hall said yesterday the merger talks were terminated after it became apparent it wouldn’t proceed as originally contemplated.

Genesis built a broad therapeutic development platform targeting immune disorders & cancer and a novel single-stranded gene-silencing technology using the RNAi mechanism. The company holds an equity interest in Real Time Genomics Inc and has royalty rights resulting from previous collaborations for various products that are being developed by other parties in various fields, including agriculture & forestry.

Ms Wang sprang to attention in 2010 when she & UBNZ proposed buying the Crafar family’s $200 million portfolios of farms from their receivers, but Ms Wang was adjudicated bankrupt in December 2010 and Cabinet Ministers Maurice Williamson & Kate Wilkinson declined consent for the purchase a fortnight later.

Earlier stories:

13 January 2012: Genesis Research out of May Wang relationship, sees brighter future with Mariposa

24 December 2010: Government rejects Natural Dairy bid for Crafar farms

9 December 2010: May Wang bankrupt

31 August 2010: May Wang-supported Genesis Research cuts loss

30 June 2010: May Wang turns into saviour for Genesis Research

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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Genesis Research out of May Wang relationship, sees brighter future with Mariposa

Published 13 January 2012

NZX-listed agricultural research company Genesis Research & Development Corp Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding to merge with unlisted public Australian pharmaceutical development company Mariposa Health Ltd.

A company fronted by controversial Chinese entrepreneur May Wang, UBNZ Funds Management Ltd, took a 19.5% stake in Genesis in mid-2010, turning up as a saviour 2 months after Genesis had suspended operations for lack of funding.

Ms Wang sprang to attention in 2010 when she & UBNZ proposed buying the Crafar family’s $200 million portfolios of farms from their receivers, but Ms Wang was adjudicated bankrupt in December 2010 and Cabinet Ministers Maurice Williamson & Kate Wilkinson declined consent for the purchase a fortnight later.

In October 2011, the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption charged Ms Wang with giving bribes of $HK73 million and issued a warrant for the arrest of Auckland-based associate Jack Chen on related charges.

Genesis chief executive Stephen Hall said at that time: “In view of these developments, Genesis does not intend to proceed with any further business dealings with UBNZ.”

Looking at a brighter future yesterday, Mr Hall said: “Genesis has been reviewing a number of investment opportunities in the life sciences & other industries and has determined that Mariposa is the best prospect for Genesis shareholders. It has a well developed lead product and other projects that can progress into human clinical trials in the near future.

“The proposal is subject to various conditions, including completion of due diligence investigations, completion of transaction documents and receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.

“The merger will be effected by Genesis issuing about 200 million shares to acquire all the outstanding capital of Mariposa. Genesis plans to raise funding for the product development programme by issuing further shares.

“Existing shareholders of Genesis will retain the right to receive 50% of the proceeds from any sale or realisation of the Genesis interest in Real Time Genomics Inc that occurs within the next 5 years (providing they retain their shareholding until realisation) in addition to all normal rights as shareholders of Genesis. The remainder of any proceeds will accrue to the benefit of Genesis and all its shareholders at that future date.

“Documentation will be mailed to shareholders to approve the proposed transaction at a special general meeting at a date to be advised.”

Mr Hall said Mariposa had several development projects: “The lead product is TA-270, which is being developed as a tablet formulation for the treatment of chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) & neutrophilic asthma. COPD is the fourth major cause of death in the developed world, with a significantly growing incidence. TA-270 has been the subject of 9 human clinical trials, including in excess of 700 subjects. Mariposa also has rights to an immune modulator to Golden staph (staphylococcus aureus) and a further compound awaiting patent submission.”

Genesis, a New Zealand-based biotechnology company, established Solirna Biosciences Ltd which is focusing on developing a novel single-stranded gene silencing technology using the RNAi mechanism. It also holds an equity interest in Real Time Genomics Inc and has royalty rights resulting from previous collaborations for various products that are being developed by other parties in the fields of agriculture, forage grass & forestry.

 

Earlier stories:

18 April 2011: Shanghai Pengxin lodges Crafar application

24 December 2010: Government rejects Natural Dairy bid for Crafar farms

31 August 2010: May Wang-supported Genesis Research cuts loss

30 June 2010: May Wang turns into saviour for Genesis Research

9 December 2010: May Wang bankrupt

10 May 2010: Overseas Investment Office to take months investigating May Wang farm buys

26 March 2010: Chinese – but not entirely Chinese – interests have 4 farms so far on way to $1.5 billion NZ target

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Attribution: Company releases, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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May Wang-supported Genesis Research cuts loss

Published 31 August 2010

Struggling NZX-listed agricultural research company Genesis Research & Development Corp Ltd – in which the company fronted by controversial Chinese entrepreneur May Wang, UBNZ Funds Management Ltd, has taken a 19.5% stake – reported a reduced half-year loss on Monday.

 

Genesis chief executive Stephen Hall said the company had a cash balance of $204,000 at 30 June (at 31 December it was $324,000) and made a $511,000 net half-year loss (the loss for the June 2009 half was $1.2 million). He said cost reductions had reduced the loss substantially. Genesis undertook development of the new ssRNAi gene silencing technology under contract to its subsidiary company, Solirna Biosciences Ltd. However, as Solirna wasn’t able to raise enough funding to continue the project, the company’s operations were suspended and all staff were made redundant at the end of May. “This has been a very challenging period for the company as it ceased active operations. However, a number of parties are interested in investing in Solirna so we are hopeful that its ssRNAi research programme, which achieved progressively improving results, can be continued. Genesis is now pursuing opportunities for the development of new products in the dairy industry. “Real Time Genomics Inc continues to make excellent progress with development of its advanced software for genomic analysis and recently announced a significant commercial licence to The Genome Centre at Washington University in St Louis. “Since balance date, Genesis terminated the lease of its premises by agreeing to pay $150,000, which is equivalent to about 5 months’ rent. This settlement was funded by a loan of $250,000 from UBNZ Funds Management, which is convertible into 4,166,666 ordinary shares if conversion is approved by shareholders at a future meeting, or otherwise is repayable if conversion is not approved. “UBNZ has advised that it is interested in making a further substantial investment in Genesis, which will be subject to shareholder approval at a meeting to be held shortly.”

 

UBNZ Funds Management bought into Genesis on 29 June, one day after Ms Wang’s creditors approved a personal debt-compromise scheme by her at 6c:$1, and at the same time as the High Court adjourned a bankruptcy application. The compromise proposal is due back in court for hearing of the application to approve it on Tuesday-Wednesday 2-3 November.

 

UBNZ is in line to buy a portfolio of 16 farms held by the Crafar family, but being sold by the receivers’ of the Crafars’ companies.

 

Earlier story:

30 June 2010: May Wang turns into saviour for Genesis Research

 

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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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May Wang turns into saviour for Genesis Research

Published 30 June 2010

The company fronted by controversial Chinese entrepreneur May Wang, UBNZ Funds Management Ltd, has taken a 19.5% stake in struggling NZX-listed agricultural research company Genesis Research & Development Corp Ltd.

The transaction was completed yesterday, one day after Ms Wang’s creditors approved a personal debt-compromise scheme by her at 6c:$1, and at the same time as the High Court adjourned a bankruptcy application for a month.

UBNZ is in line to buy a portfolio of 16 farms held by the Crafar family, but being sold by the receivers’ of the Crafars’ companies. That tender is now scheduled to close with Bayleys on Tuesday 6 July.

Comment: The Chinese investment in the struggling, but complementary, research business puts the lie to the outcry by some New Zealanders over the sale of farmland, when there is a distinct lack of faith in this country in advancing research which would improve the return from farming.

Genesis suspended its New Zealand operations on 3 May for lack of funding, but chief executive Stephen Hall said then it was negotiating several transactions intended to maintain value for shareholders. It was also negotiating the placement with UBNZ, at that time unnamed.

Mr Hall said yesterday the placement of 7.4 million shares was at 6c/share, raising $446,278, and was made to a group of investors represented by UBNZ.

“Genesis is in discussions with the new investors about further investment. When discussions are concluded a proposal will be presented to shareholders to approve any issuance of further shares to the investors,” he said.

The first opportunity for further disclosure is the Genesis annual meeting, which happens to be today.Mr Hall added: “Genesis is also reviewing the possibilities of dairy industry product development & research contracts, which would be faster & lower risk than the previous therapeutic projects. This would build on our understanding of immunology & inflammation which has been developed since Genesis was established in 1994. The change in focus recognises the investment environment in New Zealand and the lack of funding support from the Foundation for Research Science & Technology for cutting-edge high-risk biotechnology projects.“Discussions are continuing with a number of groups who are considering investment in Solirna Biosciences Ltd, which would allow the further development of its single-stranded gene silencing technology.“Other Genesis assets, including the equity interest in Real Time Genomics Inc and royalty rights, will be retained by Genesis until value can be realised for shareholders.”

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Attribution: Company release, court call, Crafar farms, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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