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Kenta Biotech Raises CHF 12 Million in Series B Private Financing


3/12/2009 7:52:34 AM

Berne, March 12, 2009 – Kenta Biotech today announced that CHF 12 Million (US $10 million) has been raised in a Series B private financing from the existing investors. The proceeds will be used for the ongoing clinical development of KBPA 101 in nosocomial pneumonia and to advance KBSA 201, a fully human IgG monoclonal antibody against methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, from preclinical into clinical development.

Kenta's lead-product KBPA 101, an IgM antibody targeting Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is currently being studied in a Phase IIa study for treatment of nosocomial pneumonia in Switzerland and EU-countries. Results are expected later this year. KBSA 201 is an IgG antibody targeting a clinically highly relevant virulence factor of methicillin-resistant Staph. aureus (MRSA). The antibody has shown very promising results in a proof of concept animal model for aggressive systemic S. aureus infections last year and is currently evaluated in additional experimental models for localized infections.

Violetta Georgescu-Kyburz, CEO of Kenta Biotech stated: “We are delighted to secure this financing, which marks the next phase for our company and enables us to move our highly innovative antibody programmes towards the clinic. Closing this financing round of CHF 12 million in the current difficult financial environment is a significant sign of confidence in Kenta Biotech, its promising pipeline and its employees. In addition, it demonstrates the strength of the company and the commitment of our shareholders. Kenta Biotech is well underway to become a significant player in the fight against life-threatening infections. The proprietary MabIgX® technology will also allow Kenta to diversify into other therapeutic areas, such as cancer”.

About Kenta Biotech

Kenta Biotech is pioneering genuine, fully human monoclonal antibody therapies as life-saving treatments against serious hospital infections, an area of high unmet medical need. Towards this end, its product pipeline is addressing the most aggressive bacteria causing lethal nosocomial infections. Current targets for treatment are major virulence factors of the most difficult to treat bacteria, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii and Staphylococcus aureus.

All of Kenta Biotech's fully human antibodies are generated based on Kenta's proprietary MAbIgX® technology. Kenta's antibodies selectively target the causative organisms and consequently act through activating and boosting the patient's innate immune system. This mechanism of action works independent of the resistance pattern of the bacteria to antibiotics and without the risks of causing new resistances. These MAb are expected to synergistically enhance the efficacy of current treatment options and have a superior safety profile in the management of highly resistant bacteria.

Kenta Biotech was founded in 2006 and is financed by independent private investors and management who together hold the company share capital.

About Nosocomial Infections

In the US and Europe, an estimated 5 to 10 % of patients are expected to develop an infection during their hospital stay. Datamonitor estimates that in the US alone 1.8 to 3.7 million patients develop nosocomial infections in an average year, a growing concern according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The burden of these hospital-acquired infections is significant, both in terms of mortality and cost. Several studies show that the mortality associated with a Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) can be as high as 50%. The Association for professionals in infection control and epidemiology (APIC) estimates that the cost of healthcare-associated infections generates annual costs of between $5 and 6 billion and results in more than 100,000 deaths per year in the USA.

For additional information please visit www.kentabiotech.com.

Julie Walters Managing Director Tudor Reilly

Tel: +44 (0) 1494 753 990 Fax: +44 (0) 1494 753 991 Mobile: +44 (0) 775 362 6967 Email: julie.walters@tudor-reilly.com

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