On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’m delighted to welcome you to the 2013 Annual General Meeting of Regeneus, our first meeting since becoming a publicly listed company in September this year.
I would first like to introduce our Directors: Professor Graham Vesey who is our CEO and co-founder; Associate Professor Ben Herbert who is a co-founder; Barry Sechos and Dr Roger Aston.
I would like to thank the Directors for their considerable efforts, insights, support and patience over the last year which was a very busy time for us.
Special thanks goes to co-founder Professor Marc Wilkins who stepped down from the Board in May this year after being a founding director from 2007. Marc has made a significant contribution as a director of the business and we thank him for his service.
2013 will be remembered for many achievements across the business the most significant of which was the completion of our IPO. After a false start at the beginning of 2012, we were able to successfully complete the first ASX IPO for a biotechnology company since 2011. We raised $10.5m at $0.25c a share valuing the company at $45m on listing.
We would like to express our thanks to our joint lead managers, Peloton Capital and BBY and our advisers Grant Thornton, DibbsBarker, Channel Group and Spruson &Ferguson for their efforts and advice during the IPO.
Since listing, we have been well supported by existing and new shareholders. We have seen strong buying support driven by recent corporate announcements, which has seen our shares trade up as high as $0.66c (164% increase from IPO). At market close on 26 November, the share price was $0.58c, which represents a market capitalisation of $107m. We have been encouraged by the interest shown in the business by foreign investors.
In FY13, we made good progress in laying down the foundations to support the future direction, capability, revenues and growth of the company. As an emerging cell-based regenerative medicine company, our strategy is to leverage our proprietary cell-based technologies to develop and commercialise innovative cell therapies and complimentary biologicals for unmet medical needs in humans and animals.
We are focused on developing and commercialising products for humans and animals in four major disease areas:
- Osteoarthritis and other inflammatory musculoskeletal conditions;
- Pain management;
- Inflammatory skin conditions; and
In his presentation, our CEO will take us through the company’s product portfolio, underlying technologies and an update on current activities and goals for the next 12 months.
The Board was delighted with the recent news that the Center for Veterinary Biologics at the US Department of Agriculture has given a green light for Regeneus to proceed with the commercialisation of its novel canine cancer vaccine in the USA. The vaccine will be our first product on the US market. The market reacted positively to this news which was the first pivot point in our recent share rise. We are busy finalising the planning of our US based marketing study which will generate important data to support the commercialisation of the canine cancer vaccine. The study is scheduled to commence in early 2014.
One of the developers of the vaccine technology, Dr Chris Weir from the Bill Walsh Translational Cancer Research Labs at the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, is here with us today and has kindly agreed to give us a presentation on the vaccine later in the meeting.
The broad range of skills and experience of the Regeneus Board were enhanced further by the appointment of Dr Roger Aston, who joined as an independent non-executive director in September 2012. Roger is one of the most experienced and commercially astute people in drug commercialisation in Australia. Roger brings more than 20 years experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries in senior roles in the United Kingdom, Asia-Pacific and Australia.
We are encouraged by the positive outlook for the regenerative medicine sector. Over the last 12-18 months we have seen increasing product approvals and revenues; positive clinical trial outcomes; increased government, corporate and R&D activities; a rapidly expanding base of scientific publications and increasing interest from the investment market.
Many advanced countries have either passed or are considering passing new legislation to provide a clear regulatory framework to encourage the investment in developing new cell-based regenerative medicine technologies. A case in point is the Japanese parliament’s recent decision to pass legislation to create the world’s fastest approval process for cell therapies that would dramatically reduce the time to market for human cell therapies. We will seek to take advantage of this exciting new opportunity with our human off-the-shelf cell therapy which is based on the CryoShot technology which we have developed for canine and equine osteoarthritis.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the executive management group and the entire Regeneus team and our R&D partners for their outstanding efforts, energy and passion in achieving our goals over the last financial year. We look forward to a year of growing our revenues, launching products, meeting our milestones and unlocking further value in our business.