CuraGen Corporation Sells Ownership of Belinostat to TopoTarget A/S for Approximately $39 Million Upfront
BRANFORD, Conn., April 22 -- CuraGen Corporation, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it has sold its ownership in belinostat, a Phase I/II histone deacetylase inhibitor, to TopoTarget A/S (Copenhagen Stock Exchange: TOPO - News) for approximately $39 million upfront in a combination of cash and stock. CuraGen will receive $26 million in cash and 5 million shares of TopoTarget common stock, currently valued at approximately $13 million, and $6 million in potential commercial milestone payments related to future net sales and sublicenses of belinostat. CuraGen will no longer have any funding requirements for belinostat as TopoTarget will immediately assume all financial and operational responsibility for the ongoing clinical development.
"CuraGen is working to create and unlock value within our portfolio while providing a strong and clear risk / reward profile for our investors. After a thorough review of our current strategic options, we feel the most effective use of our resources and best potential value creation opportunity for shareholders is based on CR011-vcMMAE, our un-partnered antibody-drug conjugate, currently in Phase II for the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma and moving toward Phase II in metastatic breast cancer. We believe that today's deal represents a great opportunity for CuraGen, and its shareholders, by further strengthening our balance sheet by adding close to $45 million this year in cash and investments and from the reduction in anticipated cash use during 2008," commented Dr. Timothy Shannon, President and Chief Executive Officer of CuraGen.
CuraGen also provided today updated 2008 financial guidance. As a result of this transaction, CuraGen expects to end 2008 with approximately $135 million in cash and investments compared to the previously provided guidance of approximately $90 million. During the second half of 2008, CuraGen anticipates using approximately $6 to $8 million of cash and investments to fund operations.
Dr. Shannon further commented, "With CR011-vcMMAE showing promise in areas of substantial unmet need, we will evaluate opportunities to create additional value from this program over the course of the year, including strategic partnerships. With approximately $145 million in cash and investments today and an exciting product in Phase II with significant potential upside, we believe CuraGen is in an excellent position of having meaningful resources on hand, a low cash burn and the flexibility to pursue potential business development opportunities for novel products that we are seeing in the marketplace."
"This transaction also allows TopoTarget to focus on belinostat as it potentially moves into a Phase III trial in patients with PTCL in the second half of 2008," said Dr. Shannon. "They have been good partners and we wish them success with the continued development of the product."
Conference Call Details and Dial-in Information
Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 Time: 9:00 a.m. EDT Dial-in: 877-272-5391 (domestic) 706-758-4315 (international) Passcode: 44717174 Webcast: Access to the live webcast is available at http://www.curagen.com .
A replay of the conference call will be available starting at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 through Thursday, May 22, 2008 by dialing 800-642-1687 (domestic) or 706-645-9291 (international). The passcode for the replay is 44717174. An archive of the webcast will be available for 30 days at http://www.curagen.com .
CuraGen Corporation (Nasdaq: CRGN - News) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing promising approaches for the treatment of cancer. By leveraging drug development strengths cultivated over the years, CuraGen expects to make a difference by advancing novel therapeutics which can address the unmet medical needs of cancer patients. CuraGen Corporation is headquartered in Branford, Connecticut. For additional information please visit http://www.curagen.com .
Statements in this press release regarding management's future expectations, beliefs, intentions, goals, strategies, plans or prospects, including statements relating to the Company's use of resources, the Company's current cash and investment position, cash burn and future cash and investment position, after the transaction with TopoTarget and for the fiscal year 2008, the timing and expected results of our clinical programs, including our ability to advance CR011-vcMMAE through Phase II clinical trials, to create additional value through our CR011-vcMMAE program or through strategic partnerships, and our ability to pursue business development opportunities for novel products, may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "could increase the likelihood," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "is planned," "may," "should," "will," "will enable," "would be expected," "look forward," "may provide," "would" or similar terms, variations of such terms or the negative of those terms. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors including the risk that any one or more of CuraGen's drug development programs will not proceed as planned for technical, scientific, regulatory or commercial reasons or due to patient enrollment issues or based on new information from nonclinical or clinical studies or from other sources, the success of competing products and technologies, CuraGen's stage of development as a biopharmaceutical company, government regulation and healthcare reform, technological uncertainty and product development risks, product liability exposure, uncertainty of additional funding, CuraGen's history of incurring losses and the uncertainty of achieving profitability, reliance on research collaborations and strategic alliances, competition, patent infringement claims against CuraGen's products, processes and technologies, CuraGen's ability to protect its patents and proprietary rights and uncertainties relating to commercialization rights, as well as those risks, uncertainties and factors referred to in CuraGen's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the section "Risk Factors," as well as other documents that may be filed by CuraGen from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result of such risks, uncertainties and factors, CuraGen's actual results may differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements discussed in or implied by the forward- looking statements contained herein. CuraGen is providing the information in this press release as of this date and assumes no obligations to update the information included in this press release or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.