Healthcare Industry News: Oral Mucositis
News Release - May 10, 2007
ProCertus BioPharm, Inc. Closes $2.3 Million Series A Financing Led by Venture Investors LLCMADISON, Wis.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--ProCertus BioPharm, Inc., an oncology-based pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to protect cancer patients against the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, has closed on a Series A Preferred Stock financing led by Venture Investors LLC (VI). VI was joined in the financing by existing investors, including Novartis Venture Fund (NVF).
ProCertus will initiate Phase I/II clinical studies to demonstrate proof of concept in humans for its chemo- and radioprotective products, the first of which - DermX - has been developed for the prevention of radiotherapy-induced dermatitis.
George Arida and Paul Weiss, PhD, both Managing Directors with VI, will join the company's Board of Directors. Campbell Murray, a Managing Director at NVF, will also join the Board. Weiss will serve as CEO through the Series A financing as the company moves into clinical development and explores strategic opportunities.
"We are delighted to be partnering with VI and NVF to bring our technology to clinical studies with cancer patients; our goal from the beginning has been to develop new products that improve the lives of cancer patients," said William Fahl, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Chairman and Founder of ProCertus and professor of oncology at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, an integral part of the University of Wisconsin Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"We're very excited about the company and its approach to addressing a serious unmet need among cancer patients. We look forward to working closely with Dr. Fahl and his team to make this technology a clinical and commercial success," said Weiss.
"We are extremely pleased to lead this investment in ProCertus, a company we believe has a powerful and differentiated approach to helping oncologists and cancer patients manage the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy," said Arida. "These side effects have a major impact on quality of life for patients receiving therapy, and can even be treatment-limiting in some cases. Clinicians and patients have struggled to find ways to reduce and manage these side effects, so it's important to get these products into the clinic. We believe there is a relatively efficient development path ahead for these products, and this financing will drive the development forward into the next step on that path."
About ProCertus BioPharm
ProCertus, based in Madison, Wisconsin, is an oncology-based pharmaceutical company whose primary mission is to protect cancer patients against the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. ProCertus has established proof of concept in animal models for its product candidates, DermX, ProDermaCel(TM), and OralX, proprietary pharmaceuticals designed to reduce or eliminate the side effects associated with cancer therapy. ProDermaCel(TM) will protect cancer patients from chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-induced alopecia (hair loss), DermX will prevent radiotherapy-induced dermatitis (skin burn), and OralX will protect against chemotherapy- and radiotherapy-induced Oral Mucositis. The Company will embark on Phase I/II clinical trials in 2007. For additional information on the company, visit www.procertus.com.
About Venture Investors
Venture Investors is a venture capital firm with $190 million under management. The firm invests in seed and early-stage life science and technology companies in the Midwest, with a primary focus on opportunities that spin out of the region's leading research universities. Formed in 1982, Venture Investors has offices strategically located next to the country's third and fourth largest research institutions in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Madison, Wisconsin. For additional information on the firm, visit www.ventureinvestors.com.
About Novartis Venture Fund
Novartis Venture Fund, established in 1996, currently manages over $550 million in committed capital and is invested in more then 50 private companies. As a financially driven corporate life science investor, NVF invests in companies which have the potential to lead the next innovation wave in core therapeutic fields or explore new business areas that will be critical to patient care. The primary interest is in the development of novel therapeutics and platforms and is augmented with investments in medical devices, diagnostics, biomarkers and delivery systems. For example, NVF was a key investor in Speedel, Infinity, Kudos, Syrrx, GylcArt, Idenix, Transform and Cytos. The Fund prefers to invest in the early-stages of company development and is able to lead, co-lead or participate in a larger syndicate. The NVF team of nine investment professionals located in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MA brings together extensive experience in pharmaceutical R&D and venture capital. For additional information on NVF, visit www.venturefund.novartis.com.
Source: ProCertus BioPharm
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