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SynCo Bio Partners B.V. to Manufacture Versartis, Inc.'s Novel Drug for Type 2 Diabetes


8/17/2009 9:41:42 AM

AMSTERDAM, August 17 /PRNewswire/ -- SynCo Bio Partners, a Netherlands based biopharmaceutical contract manufacturer, and Versartis, Inc. today announced a strategic partnership to produce Versartis' lead drug candidate VRS-859, a novel GLP-1 analog for monthly dosing to treat type 2 diabetes Under the agreement, SynCo will further develop the Versartis existing production process for VRS-859 and optimize the manufacturing process to increase yields for the forthcoming cGMP production.

VRS-859 is a recombinant fusion protein containing exenatide and XTEN(TM), a novel hydrophilic amino acid sequence that prolongs the half life of proteins and peptides. New therapeutic compounds using the XTEN technology are expected to provide enhanced stability and less frequent dosing requirements with potentially fewer patient side effects.

"Versartis selected SynCo because of its extensive pharmaceutical manufacturing experience and its ability to deliver bulk and final product for clinical trials and ultimately, for commercialization," said Jeffrey L. Cleland, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Versartis. "We expect SynCo to ensure our goal of initiating Phase 1 clinical trials for VRS-859 in the first half of 2010. SynCo will also become our preferred manufacturing partner for future Versartis products based on the XTEN technology, which have similar production processes."

Pierre Warffemius, SynCo Bio Partners Chief Executive Officer commented, "We are delighted that SynCo has been chosen to develop and manufacture Versartis' lead compound VRS-859. As Versartis looks to advance its novel product portfolio through clinical trials, we look forward to a long and successful collaboration with this exciting new company."

About SynCo Bio Partners B.V.

SynCo Bio Partners is a GMP-licensed bulk drug substance and final product CMO with clinical and commercial production experience with mammalian and microbial systems. This experience has been acquired by developing new production processes for a number of international clients and producing a wide variety of different vaccines, live bacterial products and recombinant proteins in our state-of-the-art, GMP-licensed facilities since inception in 2000.

Focused solely on biopharmaceuticals, SynCo Bio Partners acts as a strategic, long-term partner delivering product on time to the highest quality standards. SynCo's team is committed to exceeding customer expectations by taking a truly collaborative approach to manufacturing. For more information, please visit http://www.syncobiopartners.com.

About Versartis

Versartis, Inc., a Redwood City, California biotechnology company, is developing therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic diseases and endocrine disorders. Versartis is pursuing the development of new therapeutic proteins utilizing the Amunix Inc. novel half-life extension XTEN(TM) technology.

Versartis, a joint venture company between Amunix, Inc. and Index Ventures, owns and develops the novel drug candidates in metabolic diseases and endocrinology that it has licensed from Amunix. Versartis has preclinical proof-of-concept for three product candidates in its pipeline: exenatide and IL-1ra for diabetes, and hGH for growth hormone deficiency.

Further information on Versartis can be found at http://www.versartis.com.

SOURCE SynCo Bio Partners B.V.

CONTACT: SynCo Contacts: De Facto Communications, Hilary Latham,
+44-207-861-3027, h.latham@defacto.com; SynCo Bio Partners B.V., Joanne
McCudden, +31-6-5534-8074, J.mccudden@syncobiopartners.com; Versartis
Contacts: Corporate, Jeffrey L. Cleland, Ph.D., CEO, +1-650-632-4410,
jcleland@versartis.com; Media, Debra Bannister, +1-530-676-8001,
media@versartis.com



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