Auckland-based biotechnology company Genesis Research and
Development Corp is suspending operations in this country,
with the loss of nine jobs, mostly scientists.
Genesis chief executive Stephen Hall said the biotech
business was high risk and in the global financial crisis had
been one of the most difficult areas to raise funds.
On top of that the company's Solirna Biosciences operation,
set up to develop single stranded gene silencing technology,
was still a reasonably early stage project, making it even
harder to fund.
The Japanese investor in Solirna was still deciding whether
it would provide further funding. Future development of the
technology was likely to be done overseas.
In this country investors had not seen the major
breakthroughs that successful companies could make, exciting
and educating the market about what was possible, Mr Hall
In contrast, the United States had a long history of
companies becoming successful, along with others that did not
make it, and investors understood the risks and rewards.
It was being proposed that existing Genesis Research assets,
including its royalty rights, and equity interests in Solirna
Biosciences and US-based software company Real Time Genomics,
be transferred to a separate entity.
Existing Genesis Research shareholders would then receive
shares in the new entity and would continue to hold their
existing shares in Genesis, Mr Hall said.
The proposal needed shareholder approval, and afterwards the
assets in the new entity could be sold when the time was
Meanwhile, Genesis was also discussing a proposed
transaction to acquire a company with several therapeutic
development projects, including one that was close to
entering clinical development.
The vendors had indicated funds were available to allow
Genesis to make a placement of shares which would raise
about $450,000, with further more significant funding likely