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ferrets stock to watch: biopharmica limited

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    Ferret's Stock to Watch: BIOPHARMICA LIMITED
    09:11, Wednesday, 1 November 2006


    Sydney - Wednesday - November 1: (RWE Aust Business News)


    Investors should watch the progress of research in many
    Australian biotech companies which are close to important breakthroughs.

    A good example is Biopharmica Ltd (ASX:BPH) which is making
    remarkable progress in the field of skin tissue.

    Another signal that research is getting there are the major
    pharmaceutical companies it attracts.

    West Australian breast cancer patients are aiding Perth-based
    Biopharmica in its quest to help global researchers unlock the potential
    of its genetic discoveries more quickly.

    The pilot study will use cell-based imaging equipment - the first
    of its kind in Australia - to analyse tissue from more than 500
    breast cancer patients whose samples form part of the WA Research Tissue

    The project springs out of a new collaboration between Molecular
    Discovery Systems (MDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Biopharmica, and
    one of the world's largest healthcare companies, GE Healthcare.

    Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter announced the agreement
    yesterday at an event held at the Western Australian Institute for
    Medical Research (WAIMR), home of the WA Research Tissue Network.

    GE's IN Cell Analyzer imaging technology provides scientists with
    a way of seeing what is happening around genes, and in the process helps
    them to more quickly determine if the gene will be of use for new tests
    or treatments for diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

    MDS chief executive officer Dr Sam Gallagher said the technology
    also allowed researchers to learn more about the disease mechanisms.

    "Before this type of equipment became available we could not see
    what was happening around the gene - it was like a black box - so being
    able to actually watch what's going on in real time can help us better
    understand how the disease operates," she said.

    "The technology can also speed up drug screening which allows new
    treatments to get from the laboratories to patients' bedsides faster," Dr
    Gallagher declared.

    Mr Carpenter said the partnership was a win for WA's biotech

    WAIMR director Professor Peter Klinken welcomed the alliance,
    which will see MDS and its researchers work with GE Healthcare teams in
    the US, UK, Australia and Singapore.

    HLS5, a gene discovered by Professor Klinken and his team and now
    being commercialised by Biopharmica, will be the first gene investigated
    in the study.


    Shares of Biopharmica yesterday drifted down 0.5c to 15c. Rolling
    high for the year has been 45c and low 6c. The company has 61.3 million
    shares on issue with market cap of $10.1 million. The company reported a
    consolidated loss for the year, after providing for income tax, of to
    $986,613 (2005: $727,639).

    The major activities throughout the period were:

    * The launch of Molecular Discovery Systems;

    * The successful completion of the initial study and launch of a
    new clinical trial for the brain function monitoring technology;

    * A successful lung disease chip trial; and

    * HLS5 gene being found to be implicated in Huntington's and

    Meanwhile, GE Healthcare says it has always placed value on
    developing partnerships and working with customers to achieve common
    objectives, said Stephen McIntyre, President, GE Healthcare,
    Australia/New Zealand.

    Biopharmica director Charles Murphy agrees the GE collaboration
    will support mutual goals.

    "In some areas of the collaboration one party will own
    intellectual property and in other areas MDS and GE Healthcare will share

    "Both MDS and GE Healthcare are seeking to increase the impact
    of cell-based imaging on research and patient care," he said.

    "MDS will play a vital, synergistic role in Biopharmica's
    investment portfolio and enhance the capacity to invest into and
    commercialise world-leading Australian science," Mr Murphy added.


    Biopharmica Ltd joined the Australian Stock Exchange list in
    August 2004.

    The company is developing biomedical research with academic and
    hospital institutes.

    It provides early stage funding for a direct collaboration, or
    seed funds a spin-out company.

    The company also gives product development and commercial
    guidance, while the institutional partner provides a majority of the
    infrastructure and research expertise.

    In focusing on biomedical commercialisation the company has
    assembled a team experienced in science, business strategy and corporate

    They bring strong skills in research management, transaction
    structuring, value adding and commercialisation.

    Biopharmica is a company dedicated to the ideals of personalised
    medicine through the applied development of discoveries made from
    fundamental research.

    Globally, healthcare has moved away from mass produced solutions
    to biotechnology programs designed to address the issues of the

    Biopharmica is currently working to commercialise a portfolio of
    Australian biomedical research projects with leading universities,
    medical institutes and hospitals targeting large global markets.

    It is recognised world wide that Australian research and
    invention is as rich and diverse as its natural resources.

    GE Healthcare is a $14 billion unit of GE that provides
    transformational medical technologies that are shaping a new age of
    patient care.

    The company's expertise in medical imaging and information
    technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, disease
    research, drug discovery and biopharmaceuticals is dedicated to detecting
    disease earlier and tailoring treatment for individual patients.

    GE Healthcare offers a broad range of services to improve
    productivity in healthcare and enable healthcare providers to better
    diagnose, treat and manage patients with conditions such as cancer,
    Alzheimer's and cardiovascular diseases.


    Copyright © 2006 RWE Australian Business News. All rights reserved.
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