Healthcare Industry News:  Baxter 

Biopharmaceuticals Venture Capital Personnel

 News Release - May 23, 2007

Prolacta Bioscience Closes on over $12 Million in Private Funding

Seasoned Plasma Industry Expert John Bacich Named Chairman of the Board

MONROVIA, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Prolacta Bioscience, a privately held company that provides the only commercially available human milk fortifier made exclusively from human milk for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), announced today that it has secured over $12 million in funding, and that it has named former Baxter Bioscience President John Bacich as Chairman of the Board. Alta Partners led the financing and was joined by DFJ Frontier, Arcturus Capital, DFJ Mercury, Funk Ventures, Phillip Capital, Gideon Hixon Fund, and Draper Associates L.P., as well as others. Alison de Bord, Director at Alta Partners, joined the board of Prolacta in connection with the financing.

Prolacta currently sells the first and only human milk fortifier, made from 100% human milk, for use in the NICU. Fortifier is added to a mother's own milk, or to donor milk, which is critical for a preemie or sick baby's ability to grow and develop. The new funding will support greater commercialization and sales of Prolacta's successful product line, as well as the development of additional products that meet the specific nutritional needs of these critically ill and premature infants.

The announcement of Mr. Bacich as new chairman of the board adds one of the most experienced and respected health care executives in plasma therapeutics to the Prolacta organization. Working closely with CEO Scott Elster, also a former Baxter executive, and other veteran industry executives within the Prolacta team, Mr. Bacich will undoubtedly strengthen the execution of proven and successful business strategies.

"The demand for Prolacta products has grown significantly since it was commercially introduced in 2005, as caregivers in the NICU have realized that bovine (cow) based fortifier can cause severe intolerance issues with delicate infants in the NICU," said Mr. Elster. "Having John Bacich, a highly respected health care expert with relevant industry experience as our chairman, will be a significant benefit to Prolacta and the patients we serve. John will play a critical role in our efforts to permanently improve the standard of care for critically ill and vulnerable babies."

Mr. Bacich has been involved in the biopharmaceutical industry for 38 years, most of which was with Baxter Healthcare beginning in 1968 and retiring in 1998. He held a variety of positions including quality management, research and development, global manufacturing operations, and general management, leading to the presidency of what is now called the Bioscience Division of Baxter Healthcare. In his capacity as president, Mr. Bacich was responsible for the plasma products worldwide and the development of the recombinant proteins business.

"I built my career at Baxter, where we produced vital products from human plasma that saved lives every day," said John Bacich, chairman of Prolacta. "It is truly fulfilling to put that experience to work at Prolacta, developing human milk-based products that save the lives of premature and critically ill babies."

Babies in the NICU, born weighing less than five pounds, eight ounces (2,500 grams), are considered low birth weight and are at an increased risk of serious health problems, lasting disabilities, and even death. About one in every 13 babies in the United States is born with low birth weight, and nationwide, approximately 500,000 babies are born prematurely each year, which is equal to nearly 12% of all U.S. births. The rate of preterm birth has increased 27 percent between 1982 and 2002, from 9.4 percent to 11.9 percent.

Prolacta's products contain crucial antibodies from the mother that can help these babies resist infections and serious diseases, such as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), sepsis, and bacterial meningitis. Human milk has been shown in clinical research studies to decrease the incidence of infection and disease. The antibodies found in human milk, as well as other protective molecules are not present in other forms of milk, such as cow milk.

"As the leader in the science of human milk, we are extremely pleased to have the support of a blue chip investor such as Alta Partners," said Frank Foster, Chairman of Prolacta. "Their extensive industry experience will accelerate our mission of improving the lives of critically ill and premature infants."

About Alta Partners

Alta Partners is a San Francisco-based venture capital firm focused on life sciences investing. Founded in 1996, the firm currently manages $2 billion in committed capital through eight venture fund programs. Alta invests in life sciences companies across the development continuum, from company formation to later-stage opportunities, and has funded more than 110 companies in the sector to date.

About Prolacta

Prolacta BioScience ( is a life science company dedicated to the application of science relating to human milk - one of nature's most complex and valuable substances. Prolacta is the pioneer in human milk-based nutritional products for critically-ill and premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It has created the first and only commercially available Human Milk Fortifier made from 100% human milk, Prolact-Plus(TM). With this breakthrough development, Prolacta has made a commitment to improving neonatal nutrition. Using state of the art formulation, pasteurization and filling processes, Prolacta ensures the highest possible level of product safety and quality. The company operates a pharmaceutical grade processing plant and has designed and patented processes unique to the science of human milk. Prolacta is committed to supporting research in the areas of human milk and premature infant nutrition in order to assist health care professionals in providing the best possible care for the most fragile babies.

Source: Prolacta BioScience

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