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Safeguard Scientifics (SFE) and Oxford Bioscience Partners Co-Lead $12 Million Series a Financing for Molecular Biometrics

11/10/2008 7:24:28 AM

WAYNE, Pa., Nov 10, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., a holding company that builds value in growth-stage technology and life sciences companies, today announced it co-led a $12 million Series A financing round with Oxford Bioscience Partners for Molecular Biometrics, Inc. The metabolomics company's lead product, ViaMetrics-E(TM), is a diagnostic procedure designed to help identify the most viable embryos with the greatest reproductive potential for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Molecular Biometrics will use the financing to support ongoing R&D for ViaMetrics-E and to launch the patented technology in Europe, Japan and Australia in 2009.

The availability of Molecular Biometrics' ViaMetrics-E will be revolutionary for the 7.3 million people in the United States, and the millions of others worldwide who are affected by infertility. This technology will fulfill an unmet medical need and is well positioned to tap into the $4 billion global IVF market. ViaMetrics-E is intended to provide increased accuracy when assessing the viability of an embryo for insemination through IVF. ViaMetrics-E may hold significant potential to increase IVF success rates, while minimizing the number IVF cycles required to achieve a live birth. ViaMetrics-E could also provide physicians with a procedure that may reduce the incidence, costs, and medical risk associated with multiple births, which constitute more than one-third of births under current IVF methods. Currently, the annual number of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) cycles, with the majority being IVF, exceeds 1 million worldwide. Each ART cycle in the U.S. costs between $10,000 and $15,000. The ability to reduce the number of IVF cycles and the complications associated with multiple births could result in substantial savings to the overall healthcare system.

James A. Datin, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the Life Sciences Group at Safeguard commented, "Safeguard partners with entrepreneurial life sciences companies who have differentiated products and a competitive advantage in markets that represent sizable opportunities. We look for strong management teams that address key strategic themes throughout our target markets -- molecular and point-of-care diagnostics, medical devices or specialty pharmaceuticals -- and are on a solid trajectory towards global commercialization. We welcome Molecular Biometrics as a Safeguard partner company and look forward to providing them with strategic guidance and other resources to help grow their business."

"Identifying healthy and viable embryos for transfer, and improving the success rate of IVF, are the Holy Grail for patients and physicians," says James T. Posillico, PhD, President and CEO of Molecular Biometrics. "Current techniques used to determine reproductive potential of embryos are not as effective as they should be in today's era of personalized medicine. Molecular Biometrics' advancement of biospectroscopy and metabolomic technologies may hold significant potential to more accurately assess the reproductive potential of individual embryos. Our objective is to improve upon today's IVF success rate, which range between 25-35% worldwide, and help shift the practice away from multiple embryo transfer. The success rate has not improved substantially in the past several years and we believe that ViaMetrics-E could significantly revolutionize the tools available to IVF specialists."

Datin and Gary J. Kurtzman, MD, Managing Director in Safeguard's Life Sciences Group, along with Michael Lytton, JD, MSc from Oxford Bioscience Partners, will join Molecular Biometrics' Board of Directors.

About Molecular Biometrics

Molecular Biometrics, Inc. is applying novel metabolomic technologies to develop accurate, non-invasive clinical tools for use in personalized medicine to evaluate normal biologic function in health and in disease, and for drug discovery and development. The company's proprietary technology is being applied in reproductive health, IVF and neurodegenerative disease (e.g., Parkinson's disease). Molecular Biometrics is currently headquartered in Chester, NJ, however, intends to relocate to the Boston area in early 2009. In addition, Molecular Biometrics has R&D facilities in New Haven, CT, and Montreal, Quebec. For more information, please visit

About Safeguard Scientifics

Founded in 1953 and based in Wayne, PA, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. provides growth capital for entrepreneurial and innovative technology and life sciences companies. Safeguard targets technology companies in Software as a Service (SaaS) / Internet-based Businesses, Technology-Enabled Services and Vertical Software Solutions, and life sciences companies in Molecular and Point-of-Care Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Specialty Pharmaceuticals with capital requirements between $5 and $50 million. Safeguard participates in expansion financings, corporate spin-outs, management buyouts, recapitalizations, industry consolidations and early-stage financings. For additional information and updates about Safeguard Scientifics, please visit

About Oxford Bioscience Partners

Oxford Bioscience Partners (OBP), established in 1992, is a venture capital firm that provides equity financing and management assistance to emerging, entrepreneurial-driven companies within the life sciences and healthcare sectors. Experienced partners, who bring together deep domain knowledge in life sciences, have established a proven track record of identifying, validating and backing emerging trends and technologies. While willing to consider an investment in a company at almost any stage, OBP brings unique value and expertise to early-stage situations. With approximately $1B of committed capital under management, OBP has invested in over 140 life science companies worldwide, and has successfully leveraged the extensive research, operating, and financial expertise and experience of its team of investment professionals.

Except for the historical information and discussions contained herein, statements contained in this release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements that could cause actual results to differ materially, include, among others, managing rapidly changing technologies, limited access to capital, competition, the ability to attract and retain qualified employees, the ability to execute our strategy, the uncertainty of the future performance of our companies, acquisitions and dispositions of companies, the inability to manage growth, compliance with government regulations and legal liabilities, additional financing requirements, the effect of economic conditions in the business sectors in which our companies operate, and other uncertainties described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many of these factors are beyond our ability to predict or control. In addition, as a result of these and other factors, our past financial performance should not be relied on as an indication of future performance. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or other information contained in this press release.

SOURCE: Safeguard Scientifics, Inc.


For Safeguard Scientifics Gregory FCA Theresa Murray, 610-642-8253 or 732-278-4473 or

For Molecular Biometrics, LLC Cella Communications Gina Cella, 781-334-4692

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