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New Atlanta-Based Pharmaceutical Company Tikvah Therapeutics Focuses On Central Nervous System



12/4/2006 12:53:07 PM

ATLANTA, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Atlanta-based Tikvah Therapeutics, Inc. has joined the ranks of Georgia's growing bioscience industry to acquire, develop and commercialize pharmaceutical products that address unmet medical needs for central nervous system diseases. Launched in April 2006, Tikvah Therapeutics is led by President and CEO Harold H. Shlevin, PhD, and will focus on the psychiatry and neurology markets.

Tikvah Therapeutics will explore new uses for already approved compounds in which the new therapeutic uses have been confirmed in multiple, new clinical proof-of-concept studies. This strategy shortens product development timelines -- in some cases by up to seven years -- and substantially decreases the risk associated with the research and development efforts. A second prong of its strategy is to focus on those specialized products with multiple stepping-stone indications and strong patent protections for the new uses, thus helping to ensure manageable commercial risk.

Tikvah's pipeline includes Phase II compounds such as an agent initially targeted to treat neurodegenerative diseases; a molecule useful in treating conditions such as traumatic brain injury; and multiple other products under consideration.

"Tikvah means 'hope' in Hebrew," said Shlevin. "And that is our mission ... to bring 'hope' to patients by providing physicians with new treatment options that better manage central nervous system diseases and help people live more fulfilling lives."

Shlevin brings almost three decades of diverse healthcare business related experience -- from pharmaceutical research and development to commercial operations -- to his new role. Formerly a global senior vice president for Solvay Pharmaceuticals, SA and president and CEO of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Marietta, Georgia, Shlevin has also held leadership roles at G.D. Searle and Co., Ciba-Geigy and was a founder of Ciba Vision Ophthalmics. Shlevin serves on the board of directors of Cardiome Pharma Corp., the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the board of advisors of Morehouse Medical School and is vice chairman and a member of the board of the Georgia Biomedical Partnership.

Tikvah Therapeutics is to receive a loan from Georgia's Life Sciences Facilities Fund (LSFF), which assists both established and startup biotech companies in securing funding for development of lab and office facilities.

"Life sciences companies often find a funding gap between what they can raise and what they need to operate, so we created the Life Sciences Facilities Fund to give Georgia a competitive edge when it comes to recruiting companies to locate here," said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. "I am extremely proud that this new startup, led by one of Georgia's most respected life sciences professionals, has chosen to join our state's thriving biotech industry."

The LSFF is a revolving-loan fund that allows the state to attract projects in the highly-competitive bio/life sciences industry. Governor Perdue approved an additional $5 million to the LSFF in the state's FY 2007 budget.

Tikvah Therapeutics, Inc. is located in the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) of the Georgia Institute of Technology. The location of Tikvah Therapeutics, Inc. in Atlanta was chosen to leverage many attractive advantages of the greater Atlanta area including its established academic healthcare related infrastructures, global access, and attractive cost of living and quality of life.

"The unique intellectual, cultural and learning environment at ATDC and its successful track record in nurturing new companies were significant factors in the decision to locate Tikvah Therapeutics, Inc. in Atlanta," said Shlevin. "The exciting and stimulating environment is immediately palpable when you enter ATDC and is further enhanced by access to library and other resources of Georgia Institute of Technology."

Tikvah Therapeutics was founded with the support of Paramount Biosciences, LLC, a unique drug development firm and life sciences merchant bank focused on the development of promising in-licensed drug candidates. Founded in 1991 by Lindsay A. Rosenwald, M.D., Paramount BioSciences has created approximately 40 startup companies over the past fifteen years. Since its inception, Paramount and its affiliated companies have been involved in the clinical development of more than fifty drug candidates and have more than thirty compounds in clinical development today. Paramount has extensive experience in all facets of the development of emerging life sciences companies and provides its portfolio companies a wide range of professional, financial and other support services.

Bringing Hope to Life(sm)

About the ATDC

Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center is a nationally recognized science and technology incubator that helps Georgia entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies, providing strategic business advice and connecting its member companies to the people and resources they need to succeed. More than 100 companies have emerged from the ATDC, including publicly-traded firms such as MindSpring Enterprises - now part of EarthLink.

Headquartered at the Georgia Institute of Technology, ATDC has been recognized by both Inc. and BusinessWeek magazines as one of the nation's top nonprofit incubators. ATDC was formed in 1980 to stimulate growth in Georgia's technology business base, and now has locations in Atlanta, Savannah and Warner Robins. ATDC is part of the Entrepreneur Services Division of Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute. For more information, go to www.atdc.org.

*Tikvah Therapeutics, "Bringing Hope to Life" and the above logo design are trademarks of Tikvah Therapeutics, Inc., Atlanta, GA

Source: Tikvah Therapeutics, Inc.

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