Lab Canada

New genetic testing technology gets funding boost

Toronto, ON December 3, 2003 DNA-based diagnostics company Tm Bioscience says that its $25 million research and development project to develop several genetic tests will be supported by a $7.3 million investment from Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC), a special operating agency of Industry Canada. It says these new genetic tests will dramatically improve health care efficiency by allowing Canadian researchers to explore the linkages between disease, genetic mutations and treatment.

The project includes the construction of a pilot-scale manufacturing facility and development of a minimum of five genetic tests to regulatory standards. The project completion date is targeted for 2006. Tm Bioscience has agreed to pay TPC a royalty on its revenue and, subject to regulatory approval, will issue TPC $2.5 million worth of five-year common share purchase warrants on December 31, 2005 with an exercise price equal to the current value of the commons shares at that date.

“Genetic testing is a major medical opportunity that has the potential for revolutionizing the diagnosis of disease,” says Gregory Hines, the company’s president and CEO. “This partnership with TPC will allow us to expand and enhance our technology platform and deliver a definitive advancement in the field of molecular diagnostics.”

Tm Bioscience says it aims to be among the first in the world to achieve in-vitro diagnostic device approval for a DNA-based microarray test for human genetic diagnostics.