CoGenesys, Inc. Raises $55 Million In Series A Financing

Published: Jun 12, 2006

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- CoGenesys, Inc. announced today the completion of a $55 million Series A financing, which will be used to advance the Company's pipeline of product candidates entering clinical-stage development. The financing was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with additional investments by OrbiMed Advisors and Red Abbey Venture Partners and a significant equity participation by Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGSI - News). Founded by former senior executives of HGS, CoGenesys is advancing a broad pipeline of improved, long-acting biopharmaceuticals developed to address unmet medical needs across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas.

Craig A. Rosen, Ph.D., CoGenesys' Executive Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, commented, "CoGenesys is uniquely positioned with a strong heritage from Human Genome Sciences, from which we have acquired an extensive intellectual property estate and licensed a broad range of current and future product opportunities. These include new biotherapeutics developed with HGS's proprietary albumin-fusion technology, and novel therapeutic monoclonal antibodies that target genes identified through HGS's pioneering genomics programs. In fact, the CoGenesys team was instrumental in building the albumin-fusion pipeline at HGS and, overall, has a significant track record in translating early drug opportunities into clinically proven candidates. We are pleased with the tremendous support of our investors in this critical period in the company's growth and expect to announce rapid progress in all our major programs during the next 12 to 18 months."

Steven C. Mayer, CoGenesys' Chief Executive Officer, stated, "There is a great demand in the pharmaceutical industry for new and improved products to feed company pipelines. At CoGenesys, we are pursuing a unique business model with a goal to rapidly advance selected products into phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, and, upon demonstration of safety and proof of concept, to license these compounds or find partners to fund further development. In this way, we expect to significantly reduce risk and speed the development of innovative treatment options for diseases where available medicines leave substantial unmet medical needs. Our licenses benefit from over 10 years of genomics- based research at HGS, including rights to certain early stage product opportunities and access to HGS's albumin-fusion technology and extensive gene libraries. These opportunities will form the basis for our product development and outlicensing activities. The value of these product opportunities and the potential of the albumin fusion technology to create "best in class" new medicines have been recently underscored by HGS's outlicensing of Albumin-GLP1 to GlaxoSmithKline and its collaboration on Albumin-Interferon alpha with Novartis -- both at substantial valuations."

CoGenesys was founded by Dr. Rosen, HGS's former President and Chief Scientific Officer, Mr. Mayer, HGS's former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Indra Sanyal, Ph.D., HGS's former Vice President of Pharmaceutical Operations and Mark A. Rampy, Ph.D., HGS's former Vice President of Business Development. Dr. Sanyal and Dr. Rampy serve as the Company's Chief Technology and Chief Business Officers, respectively.

As part of the Series A financing, James Barrett, Ph.D., and Chuck Newhall, General Partners of NEA, and Michael Sheffery, Ph.D., founding General Partner and Co-Head of Private Equity at OrbiMed Advisors, have joined CoGenesys' Board of Directors. The CoGenesys Board of Directors also includes Dr. Rosen, Mr. Mayer and Bradley Lorimier, former Senior Vice President, Business Development at HGS.

CoGenesys' state-of-the-art research and manufacturing facility is fully equipped, supporting both pre-clinical development and cGMP manufacture of biologics. Programs at the company are capitalizing on the depth of the pipeline and the breadth of technology to develop lead drug candidates addressing a broad spectrum of diseases and applications, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, enzyme replacement therapy and others. The clinically validated albumin-fusion technology offers a number of advantages, including the ability to improve the bioavailability of existing biologicals, such as growth hormone and interferon alpha (being developed by HGS and Novartis), and increased feasibility of developing pharmaceutically relevant peptides, such as GLP-1 (being developed by GlaxoSmithKline under license from HGS) and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). CoGenesys' lead clinical candidate, Cardeva, is a long-acting form of BNP, which the company is advancing toward the clinic for outpatient treatment of chronic heart failure. A second program, Albugranin, a long-acting form of Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (GCSF), is being readied for clinical development, initially for the treatment of febrile neutropenia associated with chemotherapy.

About CoGenesys, Inc.:

CoGenesys is advancing a pipeline of improved, long-acting biopharmaceuticals developed to address unmet medical needs across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas. The Company's strategy is to demonstrate safety and proof of concept in clinical trials followed by licensing or partnering of compounds to fund further development. Founded in 2005 as a division within HGSI, CoGenesys is now an independent company with approximately 70 employees, including 20 Ph.D.-level scientists, and a dedicated 48,000 sq. ft. facility with specialized laboratories and cGMP manufacturing capacity sufficient for early-stage clinical testing. For more information about CoGenesys visit us at our website

Source: CoGenesys, Inc.

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