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   Biotech / MedicalPlant Genomics Companies - Paradigm (PDGM) Agritope (AGTO)


To: westes who started this subject7/7/2000 4:54:04 AM
From: nigel bates
   of 10
 
AGTO could be worth a second look. I noticed your post on the Genomics thread, & will investigate further. Would be a good idea to post press releases to the thread, as it saves a lot of time for those taking a first look.

nig

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To: nigel bates who wrote (1)7/7/2000 4:54:28 AM
From: nigel bates
   of 10
 
June 12, 2000--Today, Agrinomics LLC announced highlights of a recent presentation in San Diego, California at the Second Annual Agricultural Genomics conference sponsored by the International Institute for Research.
The conference assembled a panel of internationally recognized experts in agricultural genomics to provide updates on developments in plant biotechnology over the past year.
Dr. Ry Wagner, Agrinomics' chief scientific officer presented current developments in the company's functional genomics program including the following highlights:

* The company has substantially upgraded research facilities in Portland and Woodburn, Oregon and in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
* The company has also formed its first strategic alliance with Genopsis, a joint venture between Vilmorin Clause & Cie of France and Biotech M.A.H. Plant Genomic Fund of Israel. The joint venture will sponsor a five-year $7.5 million research program to discover genes that confer desirable traits in certain vegetables for use by Vilmorin and by Hazera Quality Seeds, Ltd., two of the world's leading vegetable seed companies
* Over 100,000 transgenic lines of Arabidopsis plants have been generated and screened using the company's proprietary activation-tagging process, called ACTTAG(TM). Agrinomics researchers have discovered a number of novel genes exhibiting either gain-of-function or loss-of-function. These discoveries are expected to result in the further development of plants with superior traits.
* The existing library is being screened for morphological traits; fungal, insect and bacterial resistance; and oil modification.
* Five US patent applications have been filed covering the proprietary ACTTAG process, improvements to the process and certain novel genes.

``In a very short period of ten months, we have taken the ACTTAG technology from the research laboratory level to a full scale industrial process supported by a strong bioinformatics platform,'' said Adolph J. Ferro, chief executive officer. Ferro noted that Agrinomics plans to form a series of third party collaborations, similar to the one with Genopsis, to sponsor specific research in a variety of crops. He said that discussions are underway with several prospective sponsors.
Agrinomics conducts research, development and commercialization programs in the field of agricultural functional genomics. The company is a joint venture between Aventis CropScience (NYSE:AVE - news) and Agritope Inc. (Nasdaq:AGTO - news) formed in July 1999 to identify, develop and commercialize novel genes expected to be discovered under a gene discovery program called the ACTTAG(TM) Gene Discovery Program. ACTTAG utilizes activation tagging, a technique that enables researchers to rapidly discover genes and the traits they confer.

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To: nigel bates who wrote (2)7/7/2000 4:55:43 AM
From: nigel bates
   of 10
 
June 29, 2000--Agritope, Inc. (Nasdaq:AGTO - news) today announced the issuance of a new US patent for its biotechnology program.
The patent, number 6,054,635, covers a novel plant gene promoter derived from raspberry fruit. This promoter is a specific sequence of DNA that directs the expression of any gene linked to the promoter.
``Promoters are fundamental components of all biotechnology platforms because an effective promoter is necessary to activate genes in a precise manner,'' said Adolph J. Ferro, president and chief executive officer. ``Agritope has a very active promoter discovery program that is critical for our company's ability to achieve improved traits in plant products and that allows us to conduct our research without incurring costs of licensing promoters owned by others.''
The newly patented promoter, named RE4, can control gene activity in many or all tissues in a given plant. In studies to date, Agritope scientists have determined that RE4 directs gene expression in a number of plants in addition to raspberry. This broad spectrum of plant species includes apple, arabidopsis, garlic, lettuce, melon, onion, pear, tobacco and tomato. RE4 can also be used to control the activity of marker genes, which are important research tools used to confirm the presence of a new gene or trait in a plant. The utility of the RE4 promoter for molecular plant breeding is greatly enhanced by the fact that it is a naturally occurring plant DNA sequence. Thus, it can replace commonly used promoters of non-plant origin when creating improved plant varieties.
Agritope's patent portfolio now consists of 17 issued US Patents, 12 issued foreign patents as well as applications for an additional 57 patents pending. In addition, its 50% owned joint venture Agrinomics LLC has five patent applications pending.

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To: nigel bates who wrote (3)7/7/2000 4:57:35 AM
From: nigel bates
   of 10
 
July 6, 2000--Agritope, Inc. (Nasdaq:AGTO - news) today announced that it has successfully developed a unique technology platform for the creation of novel plant varieties containing increased levels of naturally occurring phytochemicals, called nutraceuticals.
Nutraceuticals are nutrients in foods that may provide health benefits and prevent or treat diseases. Agritope's new MetaGene(TM) Metabolic Genomics Technology facilitates the rapid identification of the specific genes that regulate the levels of phytochemicals such as carotenoids, lycopene, flavonoids, isoflavones, vitamins, folic acid and various elements and minerals.
``The MetaGene platform brings together a blend of Agritope's proven activation tagging gene discovery technology and rapid, high resolution phytochemical discovery to capture a much sought after niche in medicinal plant biotechnology,'' said Adolph J. Ferro, president and chief executive officer. ``In the first months of this program, Agritope scientists have already used this technology platform to identify tomato lines with distinct properties. We plan to develop an extensive botanical library with robust databases to create a very powerful genomic resource.''
The MetaGene platform provides a direct link from these phytochemicals to the genes responsible for their production in a model plant, a dwarf tomato variety called Micro-Tom. Tomato was selected for this platform because it already possesses a wide array of phytochemicals at low levels, is extensively studied genetically, and is an excellent model for many other crops. Micro-Tom, originally developed at the University of Florida, is a true dwarf tomato and can be rapidly propagated at high density, thus making the generation of the botanical library extremely efficient.
``In recent years there has been an increased awareness by both the general public and the scientific community of the potential that natural compounds in plants may have in the prevention and treatment of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The current global market for nutraceuticals is estimated at $65 billion and it is currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, many of the larger consumer products and pharmaceutical companies have become increasingly attracted to this growth potential,'' added Ferro.
Agritope has filed patent applications on the MetaGene technology, and has already produced a botanical library of more than 5,000 lines that the company is currently using for nutraceutical analyses. The company plans to generate over 200,000 lines over the next several years. In addition to screening for increased levels of nutraceuticals, the botanical library can be used to screen for new therapeutics, antimicrobial compounds, colorants and metabolites of interest to the cosmetic industry, as well as high-throughput screening for new drugs of interest to the pharmaceutical industry. This utility of the MetaGene program has great potential, as about 25% of all human therapeutic compounds are of plant origin.

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To: nigel bates who wrote (4)9/4/2000 3:50:09 PM
From: nigel bates
   of 10
 
Portland, Ore.--Aug. 14, 2000--Agritope, Inc. (Nasdaq:AGTO) today reported that strong product sales and continued increases in research activities contributed to record revenues.
For the third fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2000, total revenues increased 121 percent to $3.4 million compared to $1.5 million in the like quarter a year ago. Research related revenues jumped more than 230 percent to $1.0 million for the quarter. The net loss for the quarter narrowed significantly to $677,000, or $.16 per share (basic and diluted), compared to a loss of $1.3 million, or $.32 per share, for the quarter ended June 30, 1999.
Revenues for the first nine months of fiscal 2000 rose 133 percent to $5.1 million compared to $2.2 million in the like period a year ago. Revenues from research activities increased over 260 percent to $2.3 million in the nine-month period. The net loss for the period was $3.0 million, or $.74 per share (basic and diluted) compared to a net loss of $3.8 million, or $.94 per share, in the first nine months of fiscal 1999.
"We have been increasing the depth and breadth of our research programs over the last several months,'' said Adolph J. Ferro, president and chief executive officer. "We've added to our scientific staff, been awarded government grants, discovered new technologies, received new patents and filed for others. This activity has contributed significantly to our revenues. This quarter's revenues alone nearly reached total revenues for all of fiscal 1999.''
"Our investment in R&D increased in support of the projects we have initiated internally and with our affiliate, Agrinomics, LLC,'' added Ferro. Research and development expenses in the third quarter were $1.2 million compared to $814,000 in the like quarter a year ago. Selling, general and administrative expenses were $852,000 for the quarter, compared to $917,000 in the year ago quarter. The loss from operations narrowed to $864,000 compared to $1.4 million for the third fiscal quarter last year.
"Vinifera's peak selling season continued into this quarter, as product sales increased nearly 500 percent from the second quarter and 95 percent from a year ago,'' said Ferro. Grapevine shipments are highly seasonal and primarily occur during the spring and summer planting seasons. The revenue contribution from Vinifera was up 95 percent to $2.4 million for the quarter and up 81 percent to $2.8 million for the first nine months of the fiscal year. At June 30, 2000, Vinifera had firm orders totaling $1.7 million for delivery in the remaining months of fiscal 2000, and $1.1 million for delivery in spring and summer of 2001.
Agritope is an Oregon-based agricultural functional genomics and biotechnology company that develops improved plant products and provides technology to the agricultural industry. Its fruit and vegetable division specializes in the development of improved fruit, vegetable and flower varieties. Agrinomics LLC, its 50 percent owned joint venture with Aventis CropScience (NYSE:AVE) conducts a research, development and commercialization program in the field of plant functional genomics. Vinifera, Inc., its majority owned subsidiary, offers superior grapevine plants to the premium wine industry together with disease testing and elimination services.
Certain statements in this release constitute "forward-looking statements'' within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that expressly or by implication predict future results, performance or events are forward-looking. The words "believes,'' "intends,'' "expects,'' "anticipates,'' "estimates,'' and similar expressions often identify forward looking-statements. The forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or industry results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. With respect to Agritope, these factors include its limited independent operating history; uncertainty of additional funding; loss or impairment of sources of capital; dependence on strategic partners; uncertainties relating to patents and proprietary information; dependence on key personnel; technological change and competition; uncertainties as to consumer acceptance of genetically engineered products; changes in laws or regulations; as well as the other factors discussed in Exhibit 99 to the Company's 1999 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is hereby incorporated by reference. Given these uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. Agritope does not intend to update any forward-looking statements.
A tabulation of operating highlights and balance
sheet data follows: (in thousands, except per share data):

Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
June 30, June 30,
Operating Highlights 2000 1999 2000 1999

Revenues
Product sales $ 2,383 $ 1,225 $ 2,831 $ 1,560
Government research
grants 111 97 290 230
Research projects
with strategic
partners 185 206 328 398
Research projects
with affiliate 706 -- 1,648 --
-------- -------- -------- --------
Total revenues 3,385 1,528 5,097 2,188
Costs and expenses
Product costs 2,242 1,195 2,663 1,540
Research and
development expenses 1,155 814 3,165 2,266
Selling, general and
administrative
expenses 852 917 2,725 2,729
-------- -------- -------- --------
Loss from operations (864) (1,398) (3,456) (4,347)
Other income (expense),
net 116 1 117 267
Minority interest in
subsidiary net loss 71 93 298 246
Net loss $ (677) $ (1,304) $ (3,041) $ (3,834)

Net income per share
(basic and diluted) $ (0.16) $ (0.32) $ (0.74) $ (0.94)

Weighted average shares
outstanding (basic
and diluted) 4,128 4,066 4,107 4,059

June 30, Sept. 30, June 30,
Balance Sheet Data 2000 1999 1999

Assets
Cash and cash
equivalents(a) $ 1,463 $ 4,204 $ 1,656
Accounts receivable,
net 1,046 640 461
Inventories 5,208 5,054 4,790
Other current assets 660 73 380
Other assets 5,025 5,500 5,566

$ 13,402 $ 15,471 $ 12,853
Liabilities and
Stockholders' Equity
Current liabilities $ 5,017 $ 4,184 $ 3,956
Long-term debt, less
current portion 3 5 7
Minority interest 1,699 1,959 1,368
Stockholders' equity 6,683 9,323 7,522
$ 13,402 $ 15,471 $ 12,853

Working capital $ 3,360 $ 5,787 $ 3,331

(a) Does not include $1.9 million cash and cash equivalents held
by Agritope's 50 percent-owned subsidiary Agrinomics LLC.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

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To: westes who started this subject9/14/2000 11:52:34 AM
From: nigel bates
   of 10
 
Sept. 14, 2000--Agritope, Inc. (Nasdaq:AGTO - news), which recently announced an agreement to merge with Exelixis, Inc. (Nasdaq:EXEL - news), and Rohm and Haas Company (NYSE:ROH - news) today announced that they have entered into a technology development and marketing agreement to create a new plant transformation marker selection system for use in agricultural biotechnology.
When fully developed, the Agritope-Rohm and Haas transformation system will permit the rapid creation of improved plant varieties with traits valuable to both growers and consumers.
With this new transformation marker system, only transformed plants will produce an easily detected, naturally occurring plant compound that will enable the extremely efficient identification of transformed plants in the laboratory. This improved method will not use antibiotic or herbicide resistance in the selection process. An added benefit of this system is that the marker components will be rapidly eliminated from the plant via conventional plant breeding, facilitating the production of transgenic plants that contain only DNA of plant or synthetic origin.
This agreement brings together Rohm and Haas' ligand-inducible gene expression technology and Agritope's proprietary visual marker gene. Rohm and Haas is contributing synthetic ecdysone receptors and proprietary ligand inducer chemistry that precisely regulates gene expression. Combining this technology with Agritope's visual marker gene of plant origin and expertise in plant transformation and regeneration is expected to result in a new transformation marker system that can be used in a wide variety of crops.
``Agritope evaluated a variety of potential inducible gene expression technologies and concluded that the Rohm and Haas system is superior,'' said Adolph J. Ferro, president and chief executive officer of Agritope. ``We are enthusiastic about having an opportunity to work with a well-respected corporation of the caliber of Rohm and Haas.''
``Rohm and Haas has conducted pioneering research on ligand chemistry and receptor biology for over fifteen years,'' noted Thomas Tillett, Rohm and Haas Biotechnology Business Manager. ``Our ligand-inducible gene expression system provides tightly regulated, highly inducible gene expression under the control of safe and effective ligand inducers. We are looking forward to partnering with Agritope to develop this important enabling technology for the agricultural biotechnology industry.''
The agreement provides that the research program will be conducted at both Agritope and Rohm and Haas facilities. Rohm and Haas will manufacture the ligand and market the transformation marker system. Royalties will be shared equally by both parties.
In July 1999, Rohm and Haas announced its first partnership in gene regulation with the formation of RHeoGene LLC, a joint venture with Argonex, Inc (Charlottesville, Va.). RHeoGene is developing technology for the controlled expression of genes for use in cell-based assays for drug discovery and in human gene therapy.
Rohm and Haas is a specialty chemical company whose products consistently improve the quality of life for people around the world. Rohm and Haas technology is found in paintings and coatings, adhesives and sealants, household products, personal computers and electronic components, and construction materials. It also brings food to the table-fruits and vegetables-and salt, an essential ingredient for life. Rohm and Haas has annual sales of approximately $7 billion and employs more than 21,000 people. The company operates approximately 150 manufacturing and research sites in 25 countries around the world.

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To: westes who started this subject3/6/2001 9:20:03 AM
From: nigel bates
   of 10
 
March 6 /PRNewswire/ --
Paradigm Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: PDGM - news), a functional genomics company, today announced it has exceeded the fourth consecutive milestone in its commercial partnership with Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON - news). Paradigm will receive an undisclosed accelerated milestone payment for this accomplishment.
Under the terms of the commercial partnership, Paradigm is using its industrial-scale GeneFunction Factory(TM) to discover the function of genes selected by Monsanto for use in its product development program. Paradigm will share in any product revenues generated through this collaboration in the form of royalties. The collaboration agreement was expanded in May 2000 to include Renessen LLC, a joint venture between Monsanto and Cargill Inc., which develops quality traits and customized products that enhance the functionality of grains, oilseeds, and other crops.
``Paradigm has put in place an impressive high-throughput system,'' said Chris Burnley, Vice President for Genomics Strategy & Alliances at Monsanto. ``They continue to be a great collaborator and a critical part of our integrated discovery platform.''
``To date, Paradigm has routinely outperformed on very ambitious technical milestones. This success is directly attributable to the commitment given to this program by the Paradigm and Monsanto team members,'' said John A. Ryals, Ph.D., CEO and President of Paradigm Genetics. ``The efficiencies of our GeneFunction Factory(TM) continue to improve. We are working to enhance them further when our new, higher-capacity facility comes on line next month. Our success increases the likelihood that commercial partners such as Monsanto will be successful in new product development.''
Paradigm brings to the collaboration its expertise in gene function analysis and bioinformatics. Paradigm's high-throughput analysis methodology is comprised of a series of proprietary analytical processes combined with a computerized knowledge base of plant and fungal gene function information...

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To: westes who started this subject4/10/2001 9:46:06 AM
From: nigel bates
   of 10
 
Paradigm Genetics' TAG-KO(TM) Technology for Gene Discovery and Gene Function Assignment Published in Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, USA

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., April 10 /PRNewswire/ --
Paradigm Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: PDGM - news) today published its Transposon- Arrayed Gene Knock-Out (TAG-KO(TM)) technology, a functional genomics method that can be used to discover and mutate genes in organisms with large genomes in which the sequence is not necessarily known. These results, from research conducted in fungi, were posted on the web-based version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (www.pnas.org). The paper, ``Gene Discovery and Gene Function Assignment in Filamentous Fungi,'' authored by a number of Paradigm scientists led by Lisbeth Hamer, Ph.D., Sr. Research Scientist, will appear in the renowned journal's printed version on April 24, 2001.
``Publication of this innovative research in the Proceedings underscores the strength of our fungal research,'' said John A. Ryals, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Paradigm. ``The research described in the paper is the subject of a number of patent applications filed by Paradigm relating to the discovery of gene function in microbial species, and we will continue to actively pursue strong intellectual property in this area. Application of this technology may lead to new fungicides, human anti-fungal products and industrial products.''
Functional genomics is about defining gene function. A necessary precursor is gene identification and gene knock-out production. TAG-KO(TM) is significant because the genes in a genome can be mutated very fast without prior knowledge about the gene sequence. The genome-wide mutagenesis is performed by in vitro transposon insertion into genomic libraries. A transposon is a mobile element that can jump into a new location. Sequence information about the insertion sites is acquired by sequencing from the transposon ends. The function of the genes is predicted by bioinformatic analyses in cases where a high level of similarity to already known genes can be found. Knock-out mutants are produced after targeted integration of the mutated gene (from the library) into the genome. Parameters for high frequency targeted in vivo mutagenesis were established in this study and involve the use of large fragments of homologous DNA. Gene function is confirmed by phenotypic analyses of the knock-out mutants.
Paradigm's research demonstrates the creation of a non-biased set of more than 20,000 insertions into the genome of Magnaporthe grisea. More than a third of these insertions reveal known genes and many novel genes have been identified. Several genes involved in pathogenicity are currently being analyzed. TAG-KO(TM) can be used for comparative analysis of similar genes in important crop pathogens, such as Magnaporthe grisea and Mycosphaerella graminicola, the causal agents of rice blast and wheat blotch disease, respectively. In addition, the research demonstrates that insertions into different regions of a gene can be used to modulate the gene expression, a trait that has great prospects for industrial compound production.
``We have industrialized gene identification, gene knock-out production and gene function assignment in filamentous fungi by developing and combining a series of new technologies. We have overcome several of the difficulties of working with this group of organisms, such as the lack of sequence information, the rather large genomes and the low targeted integration rate. Gene knock-out vectors are produced simultaneously with gene identification and targeted in vivo mutagenesis is now highly efficient. As a by-product of gene identification, genome sequence is acquired. We are developing a wide range of phenotyping tools to speed up the functional analyses of novel genes. We believe this method is going to revolutionize the gene discovery process in these and other organisms amenable for TAG-KO(TM),'' says Hamer...

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To: westes who started this subject5/2/2001 5:40:17 PM
From: nigel bates
   of 10
 
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., May 2 /PRNewswire/ --
Paradigm Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: PDGM - news), a functional genomics company, today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001.
For the three months ended March 31, 2001 total revenues increased 819% to $5.5 million, compared to approximately $593,000 for the same period in 2000. The increase in revenue was due to higher throughput from Paradigm's Gene Function Factory(TM) relating to the company's commercial partnerships with Bayer AG and Monsanto Company.
Total operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2001, excluding non-cash compensation charges, increased 84% to $9.3 million compared, to $5.0 million for the same period in 2000. The majority of the increase in operating expenses resulted from variable costs associated with higher throughput in the GeneFunction Factory(TM), an acceleration of Paradigm's metabolic profiling research, and the company's continued investment in informatics-based technologies. Between March 31, 2000 and March 31, 2001 the company added 78 research scientists and 12 employees in business development and operations.
Including non-cash compensation charges, the company reported a first- quarter 2001 net loss attributable to common stockholders of $4.0 million, or $0.15 per common share, which was 2 cents better than the consensus earnings estimate reported by First Call. This compares to a net loss of $16.8 million, or $3.11 per common share for the same period in 2000. Excluding the non-cash compensation charges, the net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2001 would have been $3.7 million, or $0.14 per common share.
``We are off to a good start in 2001 and continue to meet the goals we have laid out for ourselves'' said John A. Ryals, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Paradigm Genetics. ``We have started commercial production in our new third- generation, state-of-the-art GeneFunction Factory(TM). Our first quarter revenues and expenses were 21% and 6% higher, respectively, than during the last quarter of 2000, demonstrating the impact of higher throughput in our GeneFunction Factory(TM). Also, we are continuing to invest in technologies such as metabolomics and informatics that we believe will leverage the gene function data produced by our factory and help secure our long-term competitive position.''

Highlights

* Paradigm met its scheduled milestone and delivered another herbicide
assay to Bayer during the first-quarter of 2001.
* Paradigm exceeded the scheduled milestone deliverables in its commercial
partnership with Monsanto by 20%, resulting in an accelerated milestone
payment.
* Paradigm published its Transposon-Arrayed Gene Knock-Out (TAG-KO(TM))
technology, a functional genomics method that can be used to discover
and mutate genes in organisms with large genomes in which the sequence
is not necessarily known. These results, from research conducted in
fungi, were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences.

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To: nigel bates who wrote (9)5/9/2001 4:55:28 PM
From: tuck
   of 10
 
Hi, Nigel,

I hadn't noticed this thread, and started a PDGM thread. About to put some different stuff up. Stay tuned. What got your attention on it here?

Subject 51193

Cheers, Tuck

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