Avidia, Inc. Raises $28.5 Million In Series B Financing

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Avidia, Inc., announced today the closing of a $28.5 million Series B Preferred Stock financing, led by Morgenthaler Ventures. Other new investors include TPG Ventures, MedImmune Ventures and Amgen Ventures. The existing Series A shareholders, Alloy Ventures, Maxygen, Inc., Willem Stemmer and several individuals, also invested. As part of this financing, Dr. Ralph "Chris" Christoffersen, a General Partner at Morgenthaler Ventures and Franklin H. Top, Jr., M.D., a Senior Vice President at MedImmune Ventures will join the Avidia Board of Directors.

Avidia's proprietary platform technology delivers a novel type of biotherapeutic protein. These proteins contain multiple domains, each of which can bind to a separate target. Consequently, Avidia's products can bind simultaneously to one or multiple protein targets and either inhibit or induce a specific biologic function. Avidia's products have a tailored half-life and a specific target and tissue binding profile. Their small size and versatility may offer advantages over antibodies or antibody fragments with regard to biologic activity, tissue distribution, lack of immunogenicity and manufacturing cost. Avidia's product format is broadly applicable across a variety of therapeutic areas.

"We are very excited with the successful closing of this financing. This funding allows us to advance our lead product into clinical testing, broaden our product pipeline, and expand the therapeutic applicability of our technology", said Dr. Peter Van Vlasselaer, Chief Executive Officer of Avidia. "Our lead candidate, which will address an unmet clinical need in inflammation and autoimmune disease, has been transferred to Boehringer-Ingelheim Austria for cGMP production. This transfer marks an important milestone for the company and a critical accomplishment in our path towards clinical testing."

"Avidia has three major factors in its favor," said Morgenthaler's Christoffersen. "First, Avidia's proteins have the potential to become a broad-scale alternative to antibodies, and thus represent a new paradigm in biotherapeutics. Second, management has devised a very efficient clinical program that will allow demonstration of proof of principle with the current financing. Third, the company has been able to assemble a first rate team of managers, scientists, and investors."

"In a market place that has shied away from early stage, technology enabled companies," stated Dr. Geoffrey Duyk, Managing Director of TPG Ventures, "it is exciting and satisfying to have an opportunity to invest in a company and its management team that has developed a potentially disruptive technology solution that will facilitate the discovery and development of a new category of protein therapeutics."

"Alloy Ventures welcomes this strong group of new investors, each of whom brings considerable capability to Avidia. We are gratified by their vote of confidence in the Avidia team and the progress made in the last two years," said J. Leighton Read, M.D., General Partner at Alloy Ventures and Chairman of Avidia's Board of Directors.

About Avidia.

Avidia, a biopharmaceuticals company founded in 2003, is committed to developing medicines for patients with serious unmet medical conditions. The company is developing a novel, proprietary class of small therapeutic proteins. The Avidia management team is experienced in all aspects of drug development from discovery research to manufacturing and clinical development. More information can be found at http://www.avidia.com/ .

About Morgenthaler Ventures.

Founded in 1968, Morgenthaler is a leading, national venture-capital firm with offices in Menlo Park, CA (headquarters); Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Boulder, CO; and Princeton, NJ; and with an investment focus on life sciences and information technology. Morgenthaler's biotech investments, past and present, include such companies as Athena Neurosciences, Bayhill Therapeutics, GlobeImmune, Morphotek, Replidyne, Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Sequana Therapeutics, Threshold Pharmaceuticals, and Vical. Morgenthaler has a total of $2 billion under management. Its most recent fund, capitalized at $850 million, was raised in July of 2001. The firm ( http://www.morgenthaler.com/ ) has funded more than 200 companies over its 37-year history.

About TPG Ventures.

TPG Ventures closed their first institutional fund in 2001 with over $500 million in capital. Their investment focus is on information technology and biotechnology companies, with an emerging practice in consumer-based acceleration opportunities. TPG Ventures is an affiliate of Texas Pacific Group, a private equity investment firm founded in 1993 with offices in San Francisco, Fort Worth, and London. Texas Pacific Group and its affiliated partnerships have aggregate committed capital of more than $13.5 billion, with more than $2.7 billion invested in technology and telecommunications worldwide ( http://www.tpgventures.com/ ).

About Alloy Ventures.

Alloy Ventures invests primarily in seed and early stage companies in information technology and the life sciences. The firm's total committed capital under management exceeds $875 million, including $300 million committed to Alloy Ventures 2002. The firm's partners have been founders and CEOs of successful start-ups, officers of large companies, and have decades of venture capital experience. They have helped start and foster more than 150 companies ( http://www.alloyventures.com/ ).

About Boehringer Ingelheim.

The Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 152 affiliates in 45 countries and more than 34,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. With two biotech sites for development and production, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the leading companies with a strong reputation in production of biopharmaceuticals using mammalian cell culture, native and recombinant microorganism, and yeast. Boehringer Ingelheim Austria GmbH, based in Vienna, is the center of competence for microbial fermentation technology. More info can be found at http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/ and http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/biopharm .

Avidia, Inc.

CONTACT: Tom Gibson of The Gibson Network, +1-216-881-9376, ortgibson1@ameritech.net

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