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CHF Takes strategic srategic stake in Autogen

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  2. Henrik

    635 posts.
    Autogen - re: CHF Takes strategic srategic stake << Anyone know anything about Autogen? >>

    LuckyIrish - page down for details about the work done by Autogen.
    Also note that Autogen plan to list on NASDAQ within a year.
    Speculation is that the market is going bullish on bio-tech.
    Pratt and Packer continue investing in this sector.
    Autogen is an interesting stock with plenty of scope.
    AGT trading just below 60c.
    The options (AGTO) have a long time to run - exp. March 2010.

    ======================================
    CHARTER PACIFIC CORPORATION LIMITED 2002-07-01 ASX-SIGNAL-G
    HOMEX - Brisbane

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Brisbane-based investor Charter Pacific Corporation Limited (CPC)
    (ASX - CHF) today announced the acquisition of the 19.9% of the
    issued and outstanding shares of Autogen Limited (ASX - AGT)
    previously held by Edensor Nominees Pty Ltd, a company associated
    with Mr Joseph Gutnick and the major shareholder in Autogen.

    Mr Gutnick has resigned his positions as Chairman and Managing
    Director of Autogen and has no further involvement with or control of
    the company. Non-Executive Director Dr David Tyrwhitt has also
    resigned from the Board of Directors.

    Mr Kevin Dart, the Chief Executive Officer of CPC, has been appointed
    to the Board of Autogen and announced the appointment of corporate
    lawyer Brett Heading as Acting Chairman pending the selection and
    appointment of a Chairman. Mr Heading is an experienced public
    company Director and also sits on the Takeovers Panel and the Board
    of Taxation.

    Former COO of the company, Professor Gregory Collier, has been
    appointed CEO and Managing Director.

    Mr Dart said the priority focus of the new Board will be the
    reduction of expenses and overheads, and support for Professor
    Collier in the continuation of his negotiations with potential
    commercial partners for the company.

    Other significant shareholders in Autogen include the European
    pharmaceutical giant Merck-Lipha, which has a 14.99% interest in
    Autogen, the Queensland Investment Corporation with 7.4% and
    Zurich-based Cantrade Biotech Fund.

    Autogen is an Australian biotechnology company engaged in gene and
    protein discovery. It utilises its eXpress Technology Platform in all
    phases of research and development including new target discovery,
    target validation and functional genomics to support the development
    of genetic targets and new therapeutics.

    The Company currently focuses on the diseases of diabetes, obesity,
    depression, and anxiety. Under its agreement with Merck-Lipha,
    Autogen's partner in its diabetes and obesity program, Merck-Lipha
    has already committed over $34 million to Autogen and the program has
    been very productive with two major discoveries achieving key
    development milestones and over 40 gene discoveries have been filed
    in the USA for patent protection.

    In addition, a key collaboration with large US biotech SEQUENOM
    (NASDAQ: SQNM) to access Autogen's high throughput eXpress Technology
    Platform to validate and characterise genetic targets was formulated
    this year. Autogen also has a licensing agreement with Kyokuto Japan
    for the application of patented technology Autogen has in the area of
    type 1 diabetes and they have a diagnostic kit for type 1 diabetes in
    late stages of development. Autogen is also raising its profile in
    the USA with its Center of Statistical Genomics in San Antonio, Texas
    headed up by a member of its scientific advisory board Dr John
    Blangero.

    On top of this solid foundation of International agreements with key
    pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, Autogen is actively in
    discussion with a number of international companies exploring new
    opportunities with their Depression and Anxiety Program and various
    single gene targets aimed at development of new therapies for key
    disease areas.

    Kevin Dart said that his investigations had indicated the strong
    potential to capitalise on the outstanding work of the company's
    Australian scientists.

    "Autogen has previously announced its intention to pursue a NASDAQ
    listing in the USA and only last week Professor Collier held a series
    of meetings in New York with the Bank of New York, NASDAQ officers
    and leading bankers and brokers and other potential stakeholders.

    "In the knowledge that the US market values a genomics platform
    company between US$200 million and US$600 million, we certainly
    intend to generate a better understanding of Autogen's business model
    in the market here and in the USA. We will also pursue the intention
    to list on the NASDAQ in the USA using American Depositary Receipts
    (ADRs); those discussions commenced in May and our target for
    completion is the first half of 2003, or earlier if possible," said
    Mr Dart.

    For further more detailed information on the company Autogen Limited,
    we recommend accessing Southern Cross Equities' Research report on
    the company; telephone Stuart Roberts on (02) 9231 0880 or on email
    at [email protected] Also available on the Charter Pacific website
    www.charpac.com.au or the Autogen website www.autogenlimited.com.au



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