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Itero Biopharmaceuticals Inks Partnership With Indian Biotechnology Firm, Biological E. Limited; Raises $21 Million Venture Financing


6/11/2008 8:31:38 AM

-- Focus on Worldwide Development and Manufacture of Value-Added Follow-on and Novel Proteins and Antibodies --

SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Itero Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held developer of value-added follow-on and novel therapeutic proteins and antibodies, announced a broad-ranging partnership with Biological E. Limited, a privately held Indian firm with a 55 year history of manufacturing biologics. Simultaneously, Itero announced a $21 million Series A venture financing.

Collaboration with Biological E.

Itero and Biological E. will collaborate to obtain worldwide approvals and commercialize jointly developed biopharmaceuticals. Itero will be responsible for financing the development of the drug candidates, while Biological E. will be responsible for financing the manufacture of the products to meet worldwide demand. Itero will retain commercial rights in the United States, Europe, and Japan, while Biological E. will retain commercial rights in all other territories.

“After a worldwide search of potential partners, we are thrilled to be collaborating with Biological E.,” stated Bryan Lawlis, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Itero. “Their expertise in biologics manufacturing and commercialization is demonstrated by their success in the Indian market and their collaborations with global pharmaceutical companies. Moreover we have the great advantage of working with a group of accomplished investors who have deep biologics operational experience in both the United States and India. Together, we believe that we can build a significant company focused on the cost-effective, worldwide development, production and commercialization of value-added protein and antibody-based therapeutics addressed to significant market opportunities.”

“As Biological E. expands into a global player in the biopharmaceuticals industry, we are excited to be collaborating with Itero to jointly develop and manufacture important biotherapeutic products,” noted Ray Prasad, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, Global Biologics of Biological E. “We look forward to working closely with the Itero team to establish cGMP certification and product approvals from the US FDA and EMEA for our biopharmaceuticals facilities.”

Series A Venture Financing

Itero simultaneously announced that it has secured a $21 million Series A venture financing commitment. SV Life Sciences, the company’s largest shareholder, and Panorama Capital led the financing with additional participation from VenturEast. The proceeds will be used to fund the initial development of Itero’s therapeutic protein pipeline.

“We are excited to play a role in the formation of Itero,” commented Michael Ross Ph.D., Managing Partner of SV Life Sciences. “Between the management team’s expertise in the development and commercialization of therapeutic proteins and their collaboration with their new Indian partner, we believe Itero is well-positioned to develop a deep biopharmaceutical pipeline while minimizing development risk and capital investment requirements for manufacturing.”

“Panorama is pleased to back Itero and its experienced management team as one of the first life sciences investments out of our inaugural fund,” said Srinivas Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D., Managing Director of Panorama Capital. “Proteins and antibodies are a mainstay in medicine, and Itero’s unique collaboration with Biological E. may redefine how these important therapies are developed.”

Bobba Venkatadri, General Partner from VenturEast commented, “We are pleased to be participating in Itero’s Series A financing. VenturEast has a long history of investing in early stage opportunities in India, and we look forward to supporting Itero’s management team with the experience base that we have established.”

Itero said that as part of the financing, Drs. Akkaraju and Ross, as well as Mr. Venkatadri and Rodney Ferguson, J.D., Ph.D., Managing Director of Panorama Capital, had joined the Itero board of directors. Charles Harwood, a director of BioReliance Corporation and other healthcare companies, serves as an independent director.

About Itero

Itero Biopharmaceuticals, a San Mateo, CA based biopharmaceutical company, is focused on developing value-added follow-on and novel therapeutic proteins and antibodies. The company was founded in early 2007 by a group of experienced biotechnology industry executives, including:

* V. Bryan Lawlis, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and a director, formerly CEO of Covance Biotechnology Services and Aradigm Corporation and VP, Process Development of Genentech, Inc.; * R. Jerald Beers, SVP and Chief Commercial Officer, formerly EVP, Business Development and Marketing of Aradigm, General Manager of Genentech Canada, Inc. and VP, Marketing of Genentech, Inc.; * Darlene Horton, M.D., SVP and Chief Medical Officer, formerly SVP of Clinical Research and Medical Affairs at Scios, Inc. (J&J), Head of Cardiovascular Clinical Development at J&J and a Pediatric Cardiologist; * Mark Olbert, SVP and Chief Financial Officer, formerly VP, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Aradigm.

Itero leverages its expertise in biotechnology and its manufacturing collaboration with Biological E., Hyderabad, India, to efficiently and cost-effectively develop therapeutic proteins and antibodies. The company will initially develop differentiated follow-on proteins, addressing certain segments of the greater than $25 billion market for biopharmaceuticals coming off patent in the near term. The company will also leverage its development and commercialization expertise and manufacturing capability to partner with developers of novel biopharmaceuticals. For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.iterobiopharm.com.

About Biological E.

Established in 1953, Biological E. Ltd. (BE) has been a leading vaccine and pharmaceutical company based out of Hyderabad, India. The company produces a range of critical vaccines and has been an active partner with the National Immunization Programs of various countries. The company continues to invest in large-scale cGMP facilities in order to increase its capacities and product range to offer vaccines/biologics on a global basis including US FDA and EMEA markets. In addition to its pipeline of vaccines and biologics, the company has entered into a number of strategic collaborations with leading biotech companies and research institutes for joint R&D projects. Biological E. is a privately held company and is run by professionals with significant experience in the global biopharmaceutical business. For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.biologicale.com.

About Panorama Capital

Panorama Capital is a venture capital firm focused on technology and life sciences companies. Panorama Capital has a singular focus: helping entrepreneurs build market-leading companies. Panorama invests in entrepreneurs and teams who share its values: a passion to build great companies; an unyielding focus on people and teamwork; and a commitment to integrity. Panorama’s philosophy is to make that same commitment to the teams it supports, over and above its financial investment, and to take a hands-on, highly collaborative approach to investing, bringing to each portfolio company the team's extensive operating and investing experience. For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.panoramacapital.com.

About SV Life Sciences

SV Life Sciences Advisers, LLC (“SVLS”) is a life sciences-focused venture capital business. SVLS funds invest in companies requiring funding within the human life sciences sector including biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and instruments, healthcare IT and services. SVLS advises or manages four venture capital funds and a publicly traded investment trust with total capital of approximately $1.6 billion that invest in life sciences companies at all stages of development. SVLS has 29 professionals and has invested in over 175 companies over the course of the last decade making SVLS one of the largest and most active healthcare investors in the world. SVLS was established in 1993 and currently has offices in Boston, San Francisco and London. For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.svlsa.com.

About VenturEast

VenturEast’s Biotechnology Fund is the only early-stage life sciences focused venture fund in India. The fund management team, including Sarath Naru, Shekhar Reddy, Ramesh Alur and Bobba Venkatadri, is one of the oldest operating VC teams in the country. The management team, with strong operating background, has built quite a few market leaders and built a reputation as a preferred early stage VC investor in India. VenturEast works closely with its entrepreneurs and helps them develop business plans to build unique competitive advantages. The fund has invested in pioneering cross-border drug discovery deals where Indian operations of US and European companies are providing cost-efficient R&D in biology and chemistry; and scaled manufacturing for biologics. Itero is a classic example of our modus operandi where we have helped the company to identify products and partners in India. The fund has also invested in India-specific opportunities in healthcare services and clean technology adoption. For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.ventureast.net.

Contacts

Itero Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Debanjan Ray, 650-212-7601 ext. 506 Director, Commercial Development dray@iterobiopharm.com or Kureczka/Martin Associates Joan Kureczka, 415-821-2413 Jkureczka@comcast.net



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