Znomics is an early stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery of new drugs to treat and cure human diseases and disorders. What makes Znomics unique is the method by which it searches for the next big cure or treatment. The eight-year old company uses zebrafish to identify potential therapeutics for humans. It turns out that the small striped fish shares 80 to 90 percent of the genes found in man. The company’s drug discovery platform is based on its catalogued library of mutations in the zebrafish, called the ZeneMark Library.
The benefits of using zebrafish for medical research are numerous. Zebrafish are translucent so researchers and scientists can see what’s going on inside of them. They reproduce quickly and are cost-efficient. In addition, they mature quickly so scientists can begin their research within a matter of days after the birth of a new zebrafish. Znomics says it can use the zebrafish to examine more compounds and lower the costs of developing new drugs. The Oregon-based company says its efforts are focused on three primary areas: cancer, inflammation and obesity.
Noteworthy is the fact that Znomics doesn’t consider itself a pharmaceutical company. Rather it views traditional pharmaceutical companies as potential customers and those customers will demand proof of Znomics’ ability to develop new chemical compounds by using the zebrafish. Znomics expects to be able to deliver those compounds within the next three years, according to recent news reports. The company said it has had encouraging discussions with large pharmaceutical companies.
The company also has a collaborative agreement with the University of Utah (USA) relating to the development of compounds for the treatment of T-cell leukemia, autoimmune diseases, and inflammation, as well as for the complications associated with organ transplantation.
Shares of Znomics closed at $1.74 on Wednesday on volume of 500 shares. The shares have traded between $1.70 and $3.05 over the past 52 weeks. Znomics has 11.1 million shares outstanding and total assets of $2.83 million with a market capitalization of $19.27 million. The company has yet to turn a profit.
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Znomics is a unique company in the field of biotechnology, based upon its work with the freshwater zebrafish. The zebrafish is native to the southeastern Himalayan region of Asia, where it propagates in streams and other slow moving bodies of water. The thing that makes the zebrafish so special and critical to Znomics’ research is the genetic similarities it shares with human beings. In fact, between eighty and ninety percent of human DNA is identical to that of a zebrafish. This, coupled with the creature’s inherent predisposition to rapid rates of insertional mutagenesis (a process by which DNA is changed through the insertion of a base), make it an ideal candidate for the study of human disease.
Znomics realized this, and has since created a proprietary zebrafish genetic technology platform that allows for the development of highly advanced preclinical pharmaceuticals. With the help of this research platform and partnerships with other institutions, Znomics has engaged in drug discovery for obesity, cancer, and tisue inflammation. From its study of the zebrafish, the company derived its ZeneMark® Library; a mapping of roughly 11,000 mutational lines, or about half of the zebrafish’s genes.
In August of this year, 25-year pharmaceutical/biotechnology veteran executive Mark A, Philip, Ph.D, was appointed as the company’s new president and CEO. Dr. Phillip’s extensive experience in growing biopharmaceutical corporations is expected to affect Znomics’ future in an extremely positive way. Backed by a leading-edge scientific team led by Dr. Bruce Beutel, Mark Philip and Znomics have high hopes for up to three advanced preclinical compounds which, by 2010, the company expects to make ready for clinical trials.
Znomics is definitely a company to keep your eye on, as it advances further into its next-generation-level research of the zebrafish and its physiological makeup. The results of the company’s success could lead to huge breakthroughs in the field of biopharmaceutical development.
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Znomics Inc. (ZNOM) is a biotechnology company that develops new pharmaceutical products for the treatment of human diseases. They approach product development with a two-pronged attack: commercial and academics. Commercially, the company is constantly seeking the development of proprietary drugs both autonomously and collaboratively with partner companies. Academically, Znomics provides labor and materials to, and develops collaborative relationships with, researchers engaged in advancing biological science, thereby enhancing their intellectual property and drug development capabilities.
Although Znomics is still a developmental stage biotech company, they have many unique qualities which offer strong comparative advantages to many of their revenue generating counterparts. The company employs a relatively efficient and cost-effective system for drug development that uses zebrafish. These creatures share 80-90% of the genes found in humans but contain many unique attributes that create the potential for faster, more effective drug discovery. These unique characteristics are why Znomics is one of over 500 laboratories worldwide that now conducts research using the zebrafish.
The primary intent of Znomic’s drug discovery efforts are to make the world a better place through the creation of life saving drugs, but they also aim to sell their genetically mutated zebrafish to other laboratories and research universities for profit. Company management intends to initiate their first three development programs before the completion of 2008, and to discover three lead developmental compounds within the next three years. It is hard to rate an early stage biotechnology company before the development of drugs or the recognition of significant revenue, but Znomics already has the leadership and technology that is required for success.
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