BioWorld International Correspondent

PARIS - Genfit obtained a listing on the Alternext market of the Euronext stock exchange in Paris through direct quotation. The listing will take effect Dec. 19.

To pave the way for the admission of its shares, Genfit completed a private placement of about 1.7 million new shares, representing 14.8 percent of its equity, with both new investors and existing shareholders, which generated proceeds of €15 million (US$19.8 million).

Following the capital increase, the total number of shares issued by the company stands at 11.3 million, of which 37.7 percent are held by management, 29.2 percent by financial investors, 21.7 percent by research institutions and 11.4 percent by pharmaceutical companies with which Genfit is involved in collaborations.

The chairman and CEO of the Lille, France-based company, Jean-François Mouney, told BioWorld International that the company had a low burn rate, was continuing to make a profit and had cash in hand of €10 million to €12 million before the latest injection of funds. He added that "a public offering will follow in a year in which we expect to raise €30 million to €40 million."

Mouney said Genfit is "in a market of blockbusters, so we have substantial revenue potential." In effect, the company is developing drugs to prevent and treat cardiovascular and metabolic diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity and dyslipidemia and has two candidates in clinical development.

Its lead compound, GFT14, is being developed to combat cardiometabolic risk and entered Phase II trials in May after completing a Phase I trial in 2005. Whereas the first trial was conducted on healthy volunteers, the Phase II trial is testing GFT14 on patients suffering from dyslipidemia. The results are expected toward the middle of 2007.

The company's second product, GFT505, is a multimodal compound designed to treat several cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors simultaneously, and it entered Phase I development in September. Among the pathologies targeted by the compound are mixed dyslipidemia, Type II diabetes and atherosclerosis. The results are expected in the late spring of 2007.

Mouney also stressed the importance of Genfit's collaborations with big pharma, some of which are in their ninth year. They have so far resulted in three products being taken into clinical development by its partners, two of which are in Phase I and one in Phase II.

In addition, Mouney said Genfit was "seeking compounds to in-license. We have great development capacity, and we want to seize any opportunities that arise." He added that the company could diversify into neurodegenerative diseases, since there was a connection between those and cardiovascular disease.