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Proteome Sciences Places New Shares, Posts 54 Percent Increase in Revenues in 2009


This story originally ran on June 8 and has been updated to include additional information from the company.

Proteome Sciences released this week its preliminary full-year 2009 results and announced a proposed placing and open offer to raise up to £6.9 million ($9.9 million).

The company, based in Cobham, UK, placed 24,050,000 new ordinary shares at 20 pence per share to raise £4.8 million before expenses from new and existing investors. Additionally, the company made an open offer to existing shareholders of 10,350,000 new ordinary shares, from which it hopes to raise £2.07 million before expenses.

The share price of 20 pence per share represents a 28 percent discount from the June 4, 2010, closing price of 27.75 pence per share.

Proteome Sciences also announced that CEO Christopher Pearce had agreed to convert £5 million of his £10 million loan to the company into new ordinary shares at the 20 pence per share placing price and novate the loan to the company's main trading subsidiary, Electrophoretics Limited, which will take over payment obligations for the loan.

The placing and open offering are intended to raise money to finance the further development of tandem mass tag-SRM mass spectrometry assays for the company's proprietary biomarkers and for capital investment in equipment for its PS Biomarker Services division, which will likely include the purchase of several new triple-quad machines and a high-end discovery mass spectrometer such as an Orbitrap, Ian Pike, the company's chief operating officer, told ProteoMonitor.

In its preliminary results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, the company reported revenues of £1.3 million, up 54 percent from £849,487 in 2008. Loss from continuing operations was just over £4 million, down 13 percent from £4.6 million in 2008. As of Dec. 31, the company held £131,158 in cash and cash equivalents, down from £273,810 a year ago.

In a statement the company said it is targeting breakeven in 2010, supported by rising revenues and royalties.

Specifically, the company anticipates rising royalty revenues from Oncimmune's EarlyCDT-Lung blood test, which relies on Proteome Sciences' annexin biomarkers and was approved this month for reimbursement under Medicare.

While the royalties from this test are "not initially anticipated to be significant," they are "expected to rise quickly in line with the number of centers offering the tests," said Steve Harris, the company's chairman, in a statement accompanying the preliminary results.

He added that the company expects Oncimmune to launch the test in the UK and Europe in early 2011.

The company also anticipates increased interest in its contract services for the discovery, validation and use of biomarkers in the development of new medicines and diagnostic tests.

In February, it formed a strategic alliance with biopharmaceutical services CRO Paraxel International, which is using Proteome Sciences' protein and peptide biomarker capabilities for the evaluation of new compounds in pre-clinical and clinical trials. The company is also in advanced negotiations to close a series of further orders with a number of other customers, it said in a statement.

In April the company entered into a non-exclusive license with Sigma-Aldrich under which Sigma-Aldrich will sell Proteome Sciences' ProteoPrep kits in Europe, Japan, and Australia with Proteome Science receiving a signature fee and royalties on all sales.