January 19, 2004 – Lausanne, Switzerland – Xigen SA, a privately held biopharmaceutical company
focusing on research and development of a novel class of cell penetrating therapeutics, announced
today the closing of a private investor financing round.
The proceeds from this financing will be used for safety and toxicology testing of Xigen’s lead
compounds in the field of neurodegenerative disorders, where the compounds have demonstrated high
efficacy in various preclinical disease models.
“Many companies are looking for neuroprotective compounds with new modes of action and with
better safety profiles. We are convinced that our JNK inhibitors will be excellent candidates. This
financing will help us to further investigate the safety and toxicology of our compounds before moving
into clinical trials”, commented Peter Harboe-Schmidt, co-founder and CEO of Xigen.
Following the financing, Thomas Meyer and Alain Nicod have joined the board of Xigen. Both are
established entrepreneurs with extensive track records in successfully starting and building companies.
Over 14 years, Thomas Meyer assisted and finally led Disetronic as the CEO, building it into one of
the worlds leading suppliers of infusion and injection systems for drug medication. Alain Nicod who is
currently managing partner at Venture Incubator brings a wealth of start-up experience from different
In 2003 Xigen was named by CASH, the Swiss business magazine, as one of the 10 most promising
Swiss biotechnology start-up companies since 2001.
About Xigen (www.xigen.ch)
Xigen S.A. is a Swiss biopharmaceutical company focusing on research and development of novel
intracellular peptide therapeutics. The company is a spin-off from the University Hospital of Lausanne
(CHUV) and was founded in 2002 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Xigen is developing a novel class of
intracellular therapeutic drugs with greatly improved specificity compared to existing drugs. The
therapeutics consist of short chained, cell-penetrating peptides that very efficiently block undesired
protein-protein interactions. Xigen has first targeted the JNK pathway, which is of major importance
in programmed cell death (apoptosis). It has been shown to be of key relevance in neurodegenerative
disorders such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and sensorineural hearing loss.
Xigen’s neuroprotecting peptide drugs are designed to block the JNK pathway to prevent the abnormal
death of cells in such degenerative disorders.