BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Transgene SA reported a net loss of €22.5 million (US$29.6M) for 2006, up from €21 million the year before. Although its revenues rose from €4.2 million to €5.5 million from one year to the next, its research and development spending increased much more, from €20.9 million to €24.1 million.

The Strasbourg, France-based company had cash and cash equivalents of €20.3 million at the end of 2006, up from €16.6 million the year before, reflecting the fact that it raised €14.3 million through the exercise of 76 percent of the warrants issued as part of the capital increase in July 2005.

The company concluded an €800,000 bio-manufacturing agreement with the French AIDS Research Agency and the French Institute for Health and Medical Research in 2006 to manufacture a clinical batch of an AIDS vaccine candidate.

In coming months, it expects to receive a €25 million multiyear grant from the French Agency for Industrial Innovation to fund its participation in the European Advanced Diagnostics and New Therapeutic Approaches project, although this is subject to the approval of the European Commission (expected in the second quarter). Most of this funding will be devoted to pharmacogenomics research and new product development in the field of chronic HPV carriers.

Presenting the company's annual results, CEO Philippe Archinard said 2007 would be rich in clinical trial results. Results are expected by the year end from two Phase II trials of different gene therapies, TG 4010 (MVA-MUC1-IL2) and TG 1042 (Ad-IFNg), as well as from a Phase I trial of TG 4040 (MVA-HCV).

In addition, Transgene is preparing to initiate Phase III trials in Europe and the U.S. of TG 4001 (MVA-HPV-IL2), for which it expects to receive regulatory approvals during the second quarter of 2007. At the same time, it is negotiating a co-development deal for the product.

According to Archinard, Transgene's net spending will amount to around €25 million in 2007 (not counting potential partnership revenues or the ADNA grant).