Topics from the Managing Director's Speech at the Annual General Meeting of Active Biotech
· The SAIK project is progressing better than planned. Phase I trials will start this year.
· A new market study confirms the sales potential of the ETEC vaccine.
· ETEC has top priority at SmithKline Beecham and will be launched in the year 2001.
· Sales of the travel vaccine Dukoral have increased by 100 % in Sweden during January-March. Estimated sales in Sweden during 1999 are approximately 20 MSEK. A new agreement returns international rights.
· Polio IPV - registration in the USA is delayed due to the increased demands on trial and analysis methods.
· Läkemedelsverket (Medical Products Agency) has approved SBL Vaccin's new Infanrix, a five-in-one combinatorial vaccine. SBL Vaccin now has a complete range for the Swedish market.
· Strengthening of research and management.
· The Annual General Meeting approved the distribution of the Wilh. Sonesson shares. Lex ASEA will be applied for tax-free distribution to the shareholders.
· The result for the first quarter of 1999 was -27 MSEK. The forecast for 1999 of -115 MSEK remains.
Great potential in SBL Vaccin's travel vaccines
The new Managing Director of Active Biotech, Sven Andréasson, presented a number of topics in his speech at the Annual General Meeting, which had attracted a record number of shareholders. SmithKline Beecham (SB) has given top priority to the ETEC vaccine in the marketing plans of the SB group. A joint steering committee is working intensively to secure the launch of the new vaccine by the year 2001, according to the plan. In Sweden and Norway the travel vaccine against cholera, Dukoral, is marketed and it has also been approved for ETEC- indication. A new agreement with SB means that Active Biotech regains all international sales rights to sell Dukoral under its own management on all markets outside Europe (EU), the USA and Australia. Negotiations with distributors in Asia and Latin America have begun. The new production plant for polio vaccine in Solna is being finalised and implemented. SBL Vaccin's registration of Polio IPV has been delayed due to the demands of the American authorities regarding analysis and testing methods. A validation of different alternatives to begin export sales of IPV is in progress.
SAIK - ahead of plan
The SAIK substances will primarily concentrate on the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The product will be administered orally in contrast to the daily injections that the MS patients are treated with today. Phase I trials on man are planned to start this year and the process of finding a partner to globally launch and market the product has started.
Strengthening research and management
A new Managing Director of SBL Vaccin is being recruited to replace the present Managing Director, Sven Danielsson, who retires this summer. Anders Kärnell, formerly Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Huddinge Hospital, has been appointed Head of Medicine at SBL. Pia Jansäter is new Head of Information of the Group. She was formerly Head of Information at Danisco Sugar. Mats Lidgard, formerly Chief Lawyer at Pharmacia & Upjohn, will today take up his duties as Head of Law, Patents, Personnel Administration and Service.
Forecast for 1999
The January - March results are estimated to be -27 MSEK. The complete First Quarter Accounts Report will be published on May 17. All figures are exclusive of the Wilh. Sonesson group. In the prospectus for new issue of shares last year, the loss for the years: 1998-2000 was estimated to be slightly more than 200 MSEK per year. The result for 1998 was just -39 MSEK, which to a great extent was the result of a capital gain of 80 MSEK on the sale of the property in Lund. In spite of this, the result was still much better than expected. The forecast -115 MSEK for 1999 remains and takes into consideration a capital gain of the ongoing sales of the SBL Vaccin property in Solna.
Distribution of Wilh. Sonesson AB
The Annual General Meeting approved the proposal of the board to distribute all shares of Wilh. Sonesson. The proposal means that for every A share and B share respectively in Active Biotech, one A share and one B share respectively in Wilh. Sonesson will be received. The Tax Authorities have decided that Lex ASEA shall be applied on the distribution. Balancing day will be June 10, with an expected listing on the O-list of the Stockholm Stock Exchange on June 15. A prospectus of this listing will be sent to the shareholders by the end of May.
Board and auditors
Sven Andréasson and Anders Williamsson, President of HemuCue AB, Ängelholm were elected new members of the board of Active Biotech. Bo Håkansson, Les Hudson, Lars Jonung, Hand Lindell, Svend Holst-Nielsen, Mats Pettersson and Hugo Thelin were re-elected. At the constituent board meeting after the AGM Bo Håkansson and Hugo Thelin were appointed Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively.
Mats BC Ohlsson and Irene Canerholm were appointed accountant and deputy accountant respectively for a term of four years.
Active Biotech AB (publ)