Greater Philadelphia Venture Group Release: Top Life Sciences And Technology Companies Selected For 2004 Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The recovery that began in the private equity markets in 2003 continues in full force in 2004 and the Greater Philadelphia region is once again experiencing a renaissance of venture investment, interest, and excitement. This will be evident at the upcoming 2004 Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference (MAVC), where approximately 60 of the most promising local, national, and international life sciences and technology companies will receive unrivaled access to investors.

The Greater Philadelphia Venture Group (GPVG), the region's leading private equity association, today announces its selection of 60 top-tier entrepreneurs seeking funding as "Featured Companies" for the 2004 MAVC. At the Venture Conference, these companies will present their business plans to over 320 of the country's most prominent investment firms in hopes of securing critical growth capital.

"The private equity market is back in Greater Philadelphia. With over $1 billion of new growth capital ready for deployment in the region, and a 10% increase in invested capital last year, investors in Philadelphia and the Mid-Atlantic region are eager to find promising new companies," says Steve Crane, Leader of Emerging and Growth Markets Practice, Ernst & Young, LLP, and Chairman of the 2004 MAVC. "This year's impressive slate of Featured Companies is sure to attract the interest of our attendees."

The East Coast's largest and most prestigious private equity event, the 2004 MAVC expects over 1,200 attendees on October 25, 26 & 27, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in Philadelphia. At this year's MAVC, life science companies comprise half of the Featured Companies, demonstrating the accelerating growth of the Philadelphia region's biotech industry as a regional economic driver.

About half of the Featured Companies at this year's Venture Conference are from the Greater Philadelphia region, with the rest hailing from national and international locations as distant as Washington State, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ireland, and Japan. Some of the life sciences and technology companies attending the 2004 Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference include:

    -- Octagon Research Solutions Inc., King of Prussia, Pa., a
       process-centric solutions provider that offers a suite of clinical
       data management, statistical, and information technology services to
       the life sciences industry.  Octagon represents a number of Featured
       Companies at the 2004 MAVC that are growing the Philadelphia region's
       biotechnology industry through service offerings to prominent
       pharmaceutical companies.

    -- Mediaguide, Berwyn, Pa., a technology-based media and marketing
       information company that electronically monitors radio broadcasts
       throughout the country to produce charts and airplay data products
       for the music industry.  Mediaguide exemplifies various media
       companies being highlighted in the technology track at this year's
       MAVC.

    -- Sopherion Therapeutics, relocating from New Haven, Conn. to
       Princeton, N.J. in October, acquires, discovers, designs and develops
       therapeutic anti-cancer agents.  Sopherion's relocation is a
       testament to the Greater Philadelphia region's economic draw.

    -- TMG Health Inc., King of Prussia, Pa., a provider of operational
       outsourcing solutions and information systems for health plans,
       providers, and insurers that focuses on the Medicare and Medicaid
       market.  TMG Health is one of several companies at this year's MAVC
       with a comprehensive national outlook - in this case addressing one
       of the largest healthcare issues facing the country today, the cost
       of healthcare for seniors and the underprivileged.

    -- H & T Corporation, Higashi-Osaka, Japan, a provider of medical
       information system, network construction, and software engineering
       technology.  H & T will travel the farthest distance from Japan to
       Philadelphia, demonstrating the international reach that the MAVC has
       gained over its 15-year history.

"This year's participating companies all have one thing in common: sound visions for success that will transform the technology and life sciences industries both here in Philadelphia, and around the world," says Bruce Luehrs, General Partner, Edison Venture Fund, and Chairman of the Selection Committee for the 2004 MAVC. "We're proud to give these entrepreneurs the unique opportunity to meet hundreds of top investors, secure vital funding to grow their businesses, and spur economic growth for their local economies. MAVC Featured Companies have raised over $2 billion in the past five years, and the companies at this year's Venture Conference will continue that impressive track record."

For more information about the 2004 Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference, please visit http://www.mavc.org/. Media can contact Kristy Lash at 610-642-8253 or email kristy@gregoryfca.com.

About MAVC

The Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference (MAVC), the largest and most prestigious private equity event on the East Coast, will be held October 25, 26 & 27, 2004, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia. Throughout its 15-year history, the MAVC has prided itself on the quality of its audience, comprised of premier private equity investors, Featured Companies, investment bankers, commercial lenders and service providers. Attracting over 1,200 attendees, including 320 investors from across the country, the 2004 MAVC expects to highlight 60 Featured Companies, representing the highest quality investment opportunities from the Mid- Atlantic area and beyond.

As the MAVC's host, the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group (GPVG) reaches up to New England, down to the Southeast, and out to the Midwest, to highlight the most promising emerging and growth companies, from follow-on to pre-IPO investments. From 1998 to 2003, MAVC Featured Companies have raised over $2.0 billion in early to later stage funding. Beyond the Featured Companies, the MAVC offers high value networking opportunities and timely and topical programs, including dynamic speakers and lively panel discussions. As always, the MAVC will feature robust technology and life sciences tracks, presenting exciting companies in areas including IT, nanotechnology, telecommunications, medical devices, biotechnology, and specialty pharmaceuticals, making the MAVC the private equity event not to be missed. For additional information, please visit http://www.mavc.org/.

Greater Philadelphia Venture Group

CONTACT: Press: Kristy Lash, Account Executive, Gregory FCA,+1-610-642-8253, Kristy@GregoryFCA.com, for Greater Philadelphia VentureGroup; or Suzy Carney, Executive Director, Greater Philadelphia Venture Group,+1-215-790-3660, SCarney@GPVG.com

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