Report this content
BIOHIT PLC.     STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE     7.8.2002   AT 10:00

The  net  sales of the Biohit Group totalled MEUR 12.8 (MEUR  12.3  1-
6/2001).   Biohit  continued  investing  strongly  in   research   and
development   and  especially  in  the  production  and  international
marketing   of   diagnostics.  The  operating  loss  before   goodwill
amortization  for the period was MEUR -0.2 (MEUR 0.8 profit)  and  the
loss  for  the period was MEUR -1.0 (MEUR 0.1 profit). The  cash  flow
from operating activities was MEUR 0.3 positive (MEUR 0.7).

Net Sales

The  net  sales of the Biohit Group for the reporting period  totalled
MEUR 12.8 (MEUR 12.3), i.e., demonstrating a 4 % growth. The net sales
were  generated  primarily by the sales of liquid  handling  products,
their  disposable  tips as well as maintenance services.  Primarily  a
decrease in the sales in the U.S. market slowed down the growth of the
Group net sales.


The  operating loss before goodwill amortization was MEUR  -0.2  (MEUR
0.8  profit). The operating loss was MEUR -0.7 (MEUR 0.3 profit),  and
the  loss  for  the period MEUR -1.0 (MEUR 0.1 profit). The income 
taxes of MEUR 0.1 have been accounted for on  the basis  of  the  
result  for the period. However, deferred  tax  assets relating to 
the taxable losses have not been accounted for.

Investments made in the launch of the diagnostic business continued to
weaken  the  Group result. These upfront investments are very  typical
for  biotechnology companies. Since the products are finished and  the
application   procedures   of  approvals  by   authorities   and   the
establishment  of  sales  channels have  proceeded  favorably,  it  is
expected  that the investments made will in the future have a positive
effect on the development of the Group result.

Balance Sheet

As  a  result  of  the dissolution of Locus genex Oy,  the  subsidiary
company  specializing in diagnostics, the balance sheet  of  June  30,
2002 includes a tax liability of MEUR 1.2 under short-term liabilities
and a deferred tax receivable of MEUR 1.1 under receivables.


The  cash  flow provided by operating activities during the  reporting
period  was  approx. MEUR 0.3 positive (MEUR 0.7). The Group's  liquid
assets  totalled  MEUR  2.1 (MEUR 2.4) at the  end  of  the  reporting
period. The equity ratio was 64 % (65.2 %) at the end of the reporting


The  gross investments of the reporting period totalled MEUR 1.1 (MEUR
1.3).  The  major  part  of  the investments consisted  of  machinery,
equipment and injection moulding tools for improving the efficiency of
production,  and  patent  costs.  During  the  reporting  period   the
expansion of the production premises for diagnostics was completed  at
the Helsinki office.


The  average  number  of personnel totalled 305 during  the  reporting
period  (281  during the corresponding period in 2001), of  which  184
were  employed  by the parent company (167 in 2001)  and  121  by  the
subsidiaries  (114 in 2001). The increase in personnel  resulted  from
investments  made  in 2001 in research & development,  production,  as
well  as  personnel  increases  in  subsidiaries  made  to  strengthen
internation sales.

Main Events of the Reporting Period

Liquid Handling

In  the area of liquid handling Biohit continued to broaden its eLINE-
range.  During the reporting period Biohit launched the single-channel
model  for the volume range of 100 - 5000 ul. As a result, the  entire
single-channel eLINE -product range has been finished. The said single-
channel  family  covers the volume range of 0.2 -  5000  ul.  The  new
generation  electronic  eLINE-range  has  been  developed   for   most
demanding liquid handling applications. The microprocessor-control and
novel  construction  enable maximum liquid handling  performance  with
very high levels of accuracy and precision. The ergonomical design  of
the   eLINE-range   together  with  electronic  tip  ejection   reduce
considerably the risk of work-related upper limb disorders.

During  the reporting period the accredited calibration laboratory  of
Biohit  was  certified  in  accordance with  the  ISO  17025  -quality
standard.  Moreover, during the reporting period the capacity  of  the
plastics production at the plant in Kajaani was increased considerably
and the automation of production was continued.


The  evaluations of the test panel for determining Helicobacter pylori
-infection  and  atrophic  gastritis and for  screening  the  risk  of
gastric  cancer  and  peptic  ulcer from blood  samples  (GastroPanel)
continued according to plans.

By  the  end  of the reporting period six GastroPanel evaluations  had
been  completed in Europe, one in Asia and one in North  America.  The
number  of patients studied in the evaluations totalled 1,732.  During
the reporting period ten evaluations were in progress in Europe, three
in Asia and one in the Near East. The number of patients to be studied
in  these evaluations totals 4,850. By the end of the reporting period
negotiations  were  in progress to commence eight new  evaluations  in
Europe, two in Asia, two in North America and two in Africa.

Biohit  received the first significant order for the GastroPanel  from
Near  East  at  the end of the reporting period. During the  reporting
period  the GastroPanel was used at the Jorvi Hospital in Finland  and
in  two  service  laboratories in Finland and in  Germany.  Additional
information on the GastroPanel is provided at the end of this release.

In  the  area  of  diagnostics Biohit was awarded the European  patent
0812421  for  the  method for diagnosing systemic lupus  erythematosus
(SLE).  SLE is a connective tissue disease, which resembles  rheumatic

Increases in Share Capital

As  a  result of the subscription of shares made on the basis  of  the
1999  option  program  and  the  option program  targeted  to  Jencons
Scientific  Ltd.,  the  share capital of Biohit increased  during  the
reporting period by EUR 39,397.50 (231,750 shares) to EUR 2,188,771.59
(12,875,127  shares).  The share premium of EUR  424,282.50  has  been
recorded in the premium fund.

Equity Turnover and Price Development

The  turnover  of  Biohit's B-shares on the NM-list  of  the  Helsinki
Exchanges  was  EUR  1,984,622 and the number of shares  601,804.  The
highest price was EUR 4.40 and the lowest EUR 2.18. The average  price
was EUR 3.30.

Prospects for 2002

Biohit  estimates  that  the net sales of  the  Group  for  2002  will
continue  to  be  generated primarily by the sales of liquid  handling
products,  and that the net sales will increase approx.  2-3%.  It  is
estimated that the result after taxes for year 2002 will be negative.

The most important factors affecting the development of the result  of
Biohit  are the development of the liquid handling product  market  in
the U.S., which has been weaker than anticipated, and the slowness  of
the  launch of the gastric test panel (GastroPanel). The launch of the
GastroPanel is retarded especially by evaluations carried out  abroad,
which   have  taken  longer  than  anticipated,  and  the  application
procedures for receiving approvals by authorities.

In  order  to improve the development of the result Biohit  has  taken
into  use an adaptation program of its activities. In accordance  with
the program the company aims, e.g., to intensify marketing efforts and
cut  costs.  The  measures  to  cut costs  include  according  to  the
preliminary  plan the reduction of personnnel by temporary dismissals.
The   related  industrial  co-operation  procedure  will  be   started
immediately after the publication of this Interim Report.

Group Income Statement

                             1-6      1-6                       1-12
                            2002     2001   Change   Change     2001
                            MEUR     MEUR     MEUR        %     MEUR
Net sales                   12.8     12.3      0.5        4     25.5
Operating expenses         -12.3    -11.0      1.3       12    -23.0
Depreciation excluding                                              
 goodwill amortization      -0.7     -0.6      0.1       28     -1.3
Operating profit/loss                                               
before goodwill                                                     
amortization                -0.2      0.8     -1.0     -128      1.2
Amortization on                                                     
 goodwill                   -0.5     -0.5      0.0        0     -1.0
Operating profit/loss       -0.7      0.3     -1.0     -347      0.2
Financial expenses                                                  
 (net)                      -0.2      0.0     -0.2      334     -0.2
Profit/loss before                                                  
 extraordinary items        -0.9      0.3     -1.2     -452      0.1
Extraordinary income         0.0      0.0      0.0        0      0.0
Extraordinary expenses       0.0      0.0      0.0        0      0.0
Profit/loss before                                                  
 taxes                      -0.9      0.3     -1.2     -452      0.1
Profit/loss for the                                                 
 period                     -1.0      0.1     -1.1    -2077     -0.2

Group Balance Sheet

                         30.6.2002       30.6.2001      31.12.2001
                      MEUR        %    MEUR       %    MEUR        %
Non-current assets    11.3       46    11.6      45    11.4       46
Current assets                                                      
 Inventories           4.0       16     4.5      18     4.3       17
 Receivables           7.1       29     7.2      28     6.8       27
 Cash and cash                                                      
  equivalents          2.1        9     2.4       9     2.5       10
Total assets          24.5      100    25.7     100    25.0      100
Liabilities and                                                     
  Share capital        2.2        9     2.1       8     2.2        9
  Share premium                                                     
fund                  15.3       63    14.9      58    14.9       60
   profits/losses     -2.0       -8    -0.4      -2    -0.8       -3
  Capital loans        1.2        5     1.2       5     1.2        5
Minority interest      0.1        0     0.1       0     0.1        0
 liabilities           2.4       10     2.4      10     2.1        8
 liabilities           5.3       21     5.4      21     5.3       21
Total liabilities                                                   
and shareholders'
equity                24.5      100    25.7     100    25.0      100

                           1-6/02   1-6/01 Change  Change-%  1-12/01
Investments, gross MEUR       1.1      1.3   -0.2       -11      2.1
   % net sales                8.8     10.4                       8.7
Employees, average            305      281     24         9      289

Pledges given, commitments and contingencies

                                 30.6.2002     30.6.2001   31.12.2001
Loans for which pledges               MEUR          MEUR         MEUR
 have been given                                                     
Loans from financial                                                 
 Institutions                          1.8           2.4          1.9
  Corporate mortgages                  3.4           3.4          3.4
Other long-term liabilities            0.8           0.8          0.8
  Mortgages                            0.8           0.8          0.8
Leasing commitments                    4.0           3.9          4.0
Interest on Capital Loans

The unrecorded interest accrued on capital loans on 30.6.2002 totalled
MEUR 0.5 and on 31.12.2001 MEUR 0.4.

                                 30.6.2002     30.6.2001   31.12.2001
  Equity ratio, %                     64.0          65.2         65.7
  Earnings per share, EUR            -0.08          0.00        -0.02
  Shareholders' equity                                               
   per share, EUR                     1.20          1.31         1.28
Average number of shares        12,739,250    12,643,377   12,643,377
Number of shares at the                                              
 end of the period              12,875,127    12,643,377   12,643,377

Derivative Contracts

The Group does not have any off balance sheet financial instruments.

The figures of the Interim Report are unaudited.

Helsinki, August 7, 2002

Board of Directors of Biohit Plc

Overview on Biohit

Biohit,  operating in the areas of biotechnology and high  technology,
develops,  manufactures  and  markets  liquid  handling  products  and
accessories  as well as diagnostic test systems for use  in  research,
health care and industrial laboratories.

In  the  area of liquid handling Biohit's main products are electronic
and   mechanical  pipettors  and  their  disposable  tips.  Currently,
Biohit's range of electronic and mechanical pipettors is the widest in
the  world.  Biohit  is  also the global market leader  of  electronic

In  the  area of diagnostics Biohit develops, manufactures and markets
test kits based on the enzyme immunoassay (EIA) -method and monoclonal
antibodies  for the screening of different types of disease.  Biohit's
diagnostic  product range includes, e.g., a test panel for  diagnosing
H.pylori  -infection and atrophic gastritis as well as  for  screening
the  risk  of gastric cancer and peptic ulcer from blood samples  (the
GastroPanel),  as  well  as  tests  for  the  detection   of   lactose
intolerance and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

In  order  to  be  able to offer complete analyzing  systems  for  its
customer base, Biohit's product range includes, in addition to  liquid
handling  products and diagnostics, instruments used for the  analysis
of  test results. Moreover, Biohit offers as a part of its product and
marketing  strategy  maintenance, calibration  and  training  services
through the Group companies and its distributors.

Biohit's  production plants are located in Kajaani and  Helsinki.  The
sales  and  marketing  subsidiaries are located  in  France,  Germany,
Italy,  Japan,  Russia,  the  U.K. and the U.S.  Biohit's  distributor
network covers altogether approx. 450 members and 70 countries.

Moreover,  many  multinational companies,  such  as  Beckman  Coulter,
Becton  Dickinson,  bioMérieux, Johnson & Johnson  and  3M  complement
their  diagnostic  systems  with Biohit's electronic  liquid  handling
products. As to Group net sales, 96% are generated outside of Finland,
and the degree of domestic production is approx. 95%.

GastroPanel: Diagnosis of Atrophic Gastritis from a Blood Sample


Helicobacter  pylori  -infection is one of  the  most  common  chronic
infections  and results in severe diseases in a significant proportion
of  the world population. All infected patients get chronic gastritis,
and  even  more than 20% of these people may suffer from peptic  ulcer
(either  duodenal  or gastric) during their lifetime.  Half  of  those
infected  will suffer from atrophic gastritis (either in  the  corpus,
antrum  or  both) during their lifetime, which significantly increases
also  the  risk  of gastric cancer. In approx. 10% of the  cases,  the
H.pylori  gastritis  results in advanced  atrophic  gastritis  of  the
gastric  corpus  among  whom  the risks  of  diseases  linked  to  the
deficiency of vitamin B12 is very high.

The Maastricht 2 (2000) consensus recommends that symptomatic patients
with  H.pylori are to be treated, and it is recommended further that,
in order to prevent severe complications, the patients with H.pylori -
infection  and major gastric pathology (atrophic gastritis) should  be
eradicated  for  H.pylori. For this reason, the patients  with  severe
gastric  pathology  should be diagnosed and endoscopied  in  an  early
asymptomatic stage: up to 4-6% of such patients are reported  to  have
definite but curable cancerous or precancerous gastric lesions.

GastroPanel  enables  the determination of H.  pylori  -infection  and
atrophic  gastritis as well as screens the risk of gastric cancer  and
peptic  ulcer  from  a blood sample. On the basis  of  the  levels  of
Pepsinogen I and Gastrin-17 as well as Helicobacter pylori -antibodies
it  is  possible  to establish if the patient suffers from  gastritis,
whether  the  gastritis is atrophic and in which part of  the  stomach
(antrum,  corpus  or  both)  the  changes  are  located.  It  is  also
noteworthy  that  patients with atrophic gastritis  are  at  risk  for
disorders  related  to the deficiency of vitamin B12.  The  tests  are
based  on  the  enzyme  immunoassay (EIA) -method.  GastroPanel  is  a
reliable  and cost effective, non-invasive alternative for gastroscopy
as  the  initial method when examining patients suffering from stomach
pains and discomfort (dyspepsia).

GastroSoft,  an easy-to-use computer program, has been  developed  for
the  interpretation  of the results of the GastroPanel.  This  program
draws  up  a  diagnosis of H. pylori -infection and possible  atrophic
gastritis,  and determines risk factors for gastric cancer and  peptic
ulcer.  In  addition,  the  program gives  a  recommendation  for  the
treatment  of  H. pylori -infection based on the Maastricht  2  (2000)
consensus.   The  program  further  gives  a  recommendation   whether
gastroscopy  and  the measurement of the levels  of  vitamin  B12  and
homocysteine  are  necessary. If the results of  the  GastroPanel  are
normal  and  the patient has symptoms of reflux disease the GastroSoft
program reminds the doctor of the possibility of reflux disease.

Areas of Use of the GastroPanel

GastroPanel promotes the accurate diagnosis of diseases of  the  upper
abdomen  and mucosa of the stomach, and serves as an aid for assessing
the  risks  and  causes  of related diseases. Testing  by  GastroPanel
promotes  the  prevention of certain diseases, accurate diagnoses  and
targeted  treatment (evidence-based medicine). GastroPanel  is  useful

1)  Diagnosis  of  dyspepsia, i.e., pain or discomfort  in  the  upper
abdomen (prevalence of dyspepsia: approx. 30% of global population):
- Functional dyspepsia (over half of the dyspeptic cases). The results
from  GastroPanel  and gastroscopy indicate that  the  mucosa  of  the
stomach  is  normal  (no  atrophy, no inflammation,  no  H.  pylori  -
- Organic  diseases  underlying  dyspepsia.  Possible  causes  are
gastric cancer, peptic ulcer or reflux disease. Prevalence of reflux
disease: approx. 20% of global population.

2)   Diagnosis of H. pylori -infection (prevalence on the average over
50% of population) and atrophic gastritis (prevalence: approx. half of
those  infected by H. pylori) and risk assessment of gastric  cancer
(prevalence approx. 0,1%) and peptic ulcer (prevalence approx. 10%).

3)   Diagnosis of corpus atrophy, which causes a deficiency of vitamin
B12. The deficiency may be related to many diseases, such as dementia
and polyneuropathies. The deficiency of vitamin B12 may also increase
the  level of homocysteine in the body, which is an independent risk
factor for atherosclerosis and heart and brain strokes. As many as 30%
of those over 65 years may suffer from the deficiency of vitamin B12.

Marketing of the Diagnostic Tests

It  has  been estimated that the global market potential for  Biohit's
diagnostic  tests is over EUR 5.0 billion. It is evident  that  Biohit
cannot  independently  take adavantage of the said  market  potential.
Thus,  in  addition to marketing the diagnostic product range  through
its seven subsidiaries and current and new distributors Biohit aims to
engage  in co-operation agreements with strong diagnostic and  medical
companies. In this area negotiations are currently in progress, and  a
few co-operation agreements have already been concluded.

When  concluding  marketing  agreements  abroad  Biohit  pays  special
attention  to  that  the distributor is able to market  and  sell  all
Biohit's diagnostic tests and related analyzing systems.

In  able to promote the wide use of the GastroPanel-tests Biohit  has,
e.g. developed  applications of the tests for an  automated  analyzing
system  for  a  German  company (Personal  LAB,
Approx. 4,000 pieces of such systems based on vertical photometry  and
microplates  are  currently  in  use  all  over  the  world.   Similar
application  projects are currently in progress. The analyzing  system
developed  by  Biohit  is partially automated as  to  measurement  and
printing.  Biohit's  system suits those market areas  in  which  labor
costs  are not yet significant or in which resource constraints  exist
and completely automated analyzing systems are not commonly used.

Thus far, the GastroPanel has been awarded the Finnish patent FI 97304
and  the European patent EP 0804737 covering 15 countries. Biohit  has
continued  to develop further the GastroSoft-program. The  GastroSoft-
program, which enhances the adoption of the GastroPanel and serves  as
an aid for general practitioners for the interpretation of the results
of  the  GastroPanel, can be tested and down loaded free-of-charge  at

The  fact that the diagnostic tests are currently used extensivly  for
research and evaluation purposes worldwide promotes the marketing  and
sales  of  the tests. Biohit and especially its co-operation  partners
and   different  researchers  have  produced  numerous  abstracts  and
scientific      publications     of     the      GastroPanel      (see

In  the light of most recent research it is currently known that if H.
pylori  -infection is treated early enough it is possible to cure  the
resulting  atrophic gastritis and avoid the risks of related diseases.
This knowledge for treating atrophic gastritis is new for many general
practitioners  and  most  likely will result  in  the  launch  of  new
research  projects and ensure the routine use of the  GastroPanel  for
screening  and  diagnostic purposes. The reflux  disease  and  related
increase  of  the cancer of the esophagus enhance the  launch  of  new
research  projects  which employ the GastroPanel  and  drawing  up  of
scientific publications. Currently various research projects study the
interlinkage between H. pylori -infection and atrophic gastritis,  and
their  effect  on  the  development of dementia and  heart  and  brain
strokes.  By treating H. pylori -infection it is possible  to  prevent
and  treat atrophic gastritis and the said related diseases. Moreover,
the  patient's risk of suffering from gastric cancer and peptic  ulcer

Thus, the GastroPanel enables researchers to launch new projects which
aim  at  screening, preventing and diagnosing different  diseases  and
promote  targeted  treatment (evidence-based medicine).  It  could  be
assumed that such research projects increase the interest and trust of
medical  companies,  doctors,  authorities  and  governmental   bodies
responsible   for   the  development  of  health  care   towards   the

In  many  countries Biohit has commenced to inform the general  public
and  those  responsible for public health care about the  GastroPanel.
Biohit  and its co-operation partners have participated in  the  U.S.,
certain European countries, in the Near East, in Africa, Japan,  China
and  Russia  in scientific congresses in which Biohit's products  have
been displayed for companies, researchers, doctors and representatives
of the health care sector.

On the basis of the feedback received abroad, both from industrialized
countries as well as the developing ones where approx. 70-90%  of  the
population  suffer  from  H.  pylori,  it  can  be  stated  that   the
GastroPanel  represents  a  major, new  step  in  the  development  of
evidence-based medicine. In addition to benefiting both the doctor and
the  patient evidence-based medicine promotes the improved  efficiency
of the health care system and reduction of costs.

Current Market Status of Biohit's GastroPanel-Tests

Biohit  has  carefully and with considerable investments prepared  for
the  marketing  and sales of its diagnostic tests.  GastroPanel  as  a
product  is  ready, and sufficient scientific evidence exists  on  its
characteristics  and  reliability. The amount of  this  evidence  most
likely increases as the GastroPanel becomes more extensively known and
used worldwide.

In  Europe the GastroPanel can be sold for both research and  clinical
use.  In  the  Near East Biohit is prepared together  with  its  local
distributors to sell the GastroPanel in eight countries. In  addition,
a  distribution agreement has been concluded recently for South Africa
and  certain  other  African countries. In  South  America  Biohit  is
prepared  to enter the 5-6 largest markets in co-operation with  local
distributors.  E.g. in China and Russia, where approx. 70-90%  of  the
population  suffer  from  H. pylori -infection,  the  evaluations  and
registration  processes are in progress. The need for the  GastroPanel
is  very substantial in these countries, and Biohit estimates that the
deliveries  of the tests will commence in 2002. In order  to  minimize
e.g.  freight  costs  and  duties the objective  is  to  commence  the
manufacturing of Biohit's diagnostic tests in China during 2003.

Biohit's  subsidiaries in France, Germany, Italy, Japan,  Russia,  the
U.K. and U.S., and its current distributors are preparing to begin the
sales of the GastroPanel.

In North America Canadian authorities have granted a sales license for
the GastroPanel, and currently Biohit is applying for FDA clearance in
the  U.S.  The FDA approval enables the sales of the GastroPanel  also
for  clinical use in the U.S. Prior to receiving FDA clearance  it  is
possible  to  sell  the  test  kits for research  use  and  commercial
laboratories.  It is estimated that FDA clearance for the  GastroPanel
will be received in early 2003.

As  Biohit is taking measures to cut down costs during the second half
of  2002 it is estimated that submitting the application for receiving
approvals  for the GastroPanel in Japan will be postponed  until  2003
unless  a  strong  local co-operation partner, e.g., a  diagnostic  or
medical company, applies for it sooner. During the second half of 2002
Biohit  will conduct a distributor up-date for the diagnostic products
and  analyzing systems in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia,  South
Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. It is estimated that the majority,  i.e.,
80-90% of the population suffer from H. pylori in these countries.

During  the reporting period the expansion of the production  premises
for diagnostics was completed at the Helsinki office. This enables, by
personnel  increases  and minor investments,  to  triple  the  current
capacity of 60,000 test kits.

The  2002  distributor price of one Biohit's test kit is EUR  162-317.
The  GastroPanel comprising the test kits for Pepsinogen I, H.  pylori
and  Gastrin-17  enables to analyze on the average  50  patients.  The
distributor price of the GastroPanel is approx. EUR 600 (taxless  end-
user price in Finland and Europe is EUR 1070-1085). Thus, the cost  of
examining  one patient with the GastroPanel is approx. EUR  20  for  a
health  care center or a private laboratory. In addition, the cost  of
work  related  with sample taking and analyses totals  EUR  15-20.  In
Finland   commercial  service  laboratories  bill  EUR  65   for   the
GastroPanel  examination.  The price of gastroscopy  and  the  related
examination of tissue samples is EUR 250-300. Currently these are  the
only  alternatives  for the GastroPanel for screening  and  diagnosing
atrophic gastritis.

Biohit Plc

Helena Hentola
Corporate Communications

Additional information:  Osmo  Suovaniemi, Professor, President & CEO,
                         tel:  +358-9-773 861, direct:  +358-9-773  86
                         250,  mobile: +358-40 745 5605, fax:  +358-9-
                         773 86 205,


Distribution:            The Helsinki Exchanges
                         The Financial Supervisory Authority