Healthcare Industry News:  Roche  

Biopharmaceuticals Venture Capital

 News Release - May 19, 2009

Roche Venture Fund, Enterprise Ireland Commit EUR3.3 M to Opsona Series B Financing

Completed Series B Total Stands at EUR21.3 m

DUBLIN, May 19 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Opsona Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on novel therapeutic and preventative approaches to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, today announced that Roche Venture Fund and Enterprise Ireland have committed an additional EUR3.3 million to the Series B financing announced in February this year, bringing the total round to EUR21.3 million. The new investors join Novartis Venture Fund, Fountain Healthcare Partners, Inventages Venture Capital and Seroba-Kernel in completing the round, which will enable Opsona to further expand its clinical development pipeline.

Proceeds will support the advancement of Opsona's clinical trials targeting inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and solid organ transplant rejection. It will also be used to improve Opsona's capability to clinically evaluate novel compounds for in-licensing aimed at treating autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Commenting on the announcement, Mark Heffernan, Chief Executive Officer of Opsona Therapeutics, said: "We are delighted by the calibre of investors who have supported our Series B financing. The investment by Roche Venture Fund is a further endorsement of Opsona's approach to targeting the innate immune system, and the continued support of Enterprise Ireland demonstrates their commitment to investment in high-potential companies. This completed

Series B round of EUR21.3 million places Opsona in a strong financial position, which will enable us to continue to achieve our clinical and operational goals over the next three years."

"Roche is excited about investing in Opsona," said Carole Nuechterlein, Head of the Roche Venture Fund. "Opsona's scientific founder, Professor Luke O'Neill of Trinity College Dublin, is world renowned for his expertise in Toll-like receptors and innate immunity."

Commenting on today's announcement John O'Dea, Head of Lifesciences in the High Potential Start Up department in Enterprise Ireland said: "Opsona epitomises the type of innovative high potential company that EI is keen to support, and shows what can be achieved when the ambition and energy of a company are harnessed and supported. The company has a solid business strategy and strong links with industry and universities. Opsona has grown its product pipeline by investing intensively in collaborative R & D."

Notes to Editors:

About Opsona Therapeutics - Opsona is a drug development company, focused on novel therapeutic and preventative approaches to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The company was founded in 2004 by three of Trinity College Dublin's respected Immunologists. Opsona has a pipeline of therapeutics in advanced pre-clinical development which modulate the innate immune system, including biologics and small molecules. Opsona's lead product, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (OPN-305) has demonstrated efficacy in a number of animal models and will start pivotal clinical trials in 2010. The company has also signed significant partnering and collaborative deals, with companies like Wyeth (USA). Headquartered in Dublin, Opsona also has laboratories in Lausanne, Switzerland. http://www.opsona.com

About Roche Venture Fund - The Roche Venture Fund makes investments in early stage biotech and diagnostics companies to support innovative technologies and medicines. Based in Basel, Switzerland, the Roche Venture Fund manages a portfolio of over 30 companies in 10 countries. http://www.venturefund.roche.com

About Enterprise Ireland - Enterprise Ireland is the government agency responsible for the development of Irish industry. Its core mission is to accelerate the development of world - class Irish companies to achieve strong positions in global markets resulting in increased national and regional prosperity. http://www.enterprise-ireland.com


Source: Opsona Therapeutics

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