iQur Ltd Closes £2.6 Million Investment, Wins Major DoH Award For Healthcare Innovation & Signs Pipeline Agreement On Anti-Fibrosis IP

SOUTHAMPTON, England, November 9 /PRNewswire/ --

- Pipeline Agreement for Fibrosis Therapeutics Signed with University of Southampton-

Advances announced today by the UK-based Company iQur, reinforce its position as a world leader in the development of new treatments for liver disease. It has been chosen as the 2005 winner of the Medical Futures Department of Health Award for Best National Healthcare Innovation for its Hepatitis C genotyping service, that can revolutionise the cost effectiveness of treatment for Hepatitis C. Previously trading as HepCgen, iQur also announced today the final close of an oversubscribed GBP2.6 million follow-on financing, as well as the signing of a major licensing deal with the University of Southampton for its patent estate in the treatment of liver fibrosis.

Commenting on these significant announcements, Paul Colford, CEO, said:

"I am delighted that iQur's ground breaking research into the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of major liver diseases has been recognised on such a wide range of fronts, by the Department of Health, the investment community and the University, and underlines our company's goal to become THE liver disease company."

Referred to as the "Oscars of Healthcare", the Medical Futures Innovations Awards are the most prestigious in the industry. iQur was presented with the Department of Health Award for Best National Health Innovation 2005 for its research into the detection, treatment and monitoring of Hepatitis C and other liver diseases at the Awards ceremony in London by supermodel Caprice.

Accepting the Award, Professor William Rosenberg, iQur's founding CSO said:

"This award is testament to the importance and success of our diagnostic services. iQur is the first Southampton based company to be recognised at this level and we achieved this as a result of our expert team and their tremendous dedication to develop better care for the increasing threat of Hepatitis C across the globe. iQur's strategies enable therapies to be tailored to the individual patient - potentially reducing treatment time and side effects, saving the NHS millions of pounds in clinical and pharmaceutical expenses. Following this innovation will be our simple blood test to reduce the requirement of serial liver biopsy across Europe, then the introduction of better treatment for HCV.

As well as recognition within the medical community, iQur has also attracted positive attention from the investment community, and has successfully raised further investment of GBP2.6 million in an oversubscribed funding round. [PC1] The funding will be used to establish the company's Diagnostic Services business, the iQur(R) Speciality Pharmaceutical distribution division and grow various therapeutic in-licensing agreements.

Commenting on the investment and Award, Board Director, David Norwood and CEO of IP2IPO, a major investor in iQur said:

"UK universities are originators of some of the best novel intellectual property in the world, and the University of Southampton and the progress of the iQur team to deliver innovation to the global problem of liver disease, specifically, Hepatitis C, is an inspiration to all our portfolio companies, and fully reflective of our mission. iQur's progress is underlined by the success of this financing round."

In addition, the Company has also extended its focus and pipeline beyond Hepatitis C into liver fibrosis and secured a licensing deal with The University of Southampton. Liver fibrosis is the result of fatty liver disease, obesity, hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease and others. Over the last 20 years, the University has achieved an international reputation for its study of the pathology of fibrosis, cirrhosis, then cancer of the liver.

Colford adds: " We have seen some compelling evidence that the progress of fibrosis can be halted, and perhaps even reversed, with the intellectual property we have licensed. In the best case, we can arrest the progression of liver disease regardless of its cause. More conservatively, we hope to introduce a liver protectorant that can perhaps provide precious additional time to those 25,000 patients currently on waiting lists for transplantation."

Speaking on behalf of The University of Southampton, Dr. Tony Raven, Director of the Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI) said, "Winning this very prestigious and hotly contested award is a fitting tribute to the work of Professor Rosenberg and his scientific team at iQur Limited."

Notes to Editors

1. About iQur -

iQur Ltd, previously HepCgen Ltd, founded by liver disease specialist Professor William Rosenberg, scientific advisor to the NHS National Screening committee and diagnostics and imaging panel, specialises in developing novel diagnostics and treatments for chronic liver disease. Its initial focus was on Hepatitis C detection and genotyping. The Company has developed a proprietary genetic test that rapidly determines the genetic subtype of Hepatitis C infection and thus enables treatment regimes to be tailored appropriately.

The Company raised seed finance of GBP350,000 primarily from IP2IPO, a majority owned subsidiary of Evolution Group plc, the investment bank and fund management group, and has subsequently completed a GBP1.6m series A financing, attracting institutional and private investors, and now a GBP2.6 million financing from private equity investors.

Board Of Directors: Non-executive Chairman, Jack Boyer Director & CEO, Paul Colford Non-Executive Director, Founder and CSO, Professor William Rosenberg Non-Executive Director, David Norwood Company Secretary, John Brooks Management: CEO, Paul Colford Founder & CSO, Professor William Rosenberg Director of Operations, Diane Sheridan 2. About Hepatitis C For further information on Hepatitis C please click: 3. About Medical Futures -

The Medical Futures Innovation Awards represent a national showcase of clinical, academic and commercial innovative excellence, and this year attracted more than 1200 entries. Forty teams from across the UK were short-listed for presentation to a panel of judges earlier in the autumn, and the finalists displayed their ideas at the Innovators' Gallery, Old Billingsgate in London on 3rd November, before the announcement of the winners.


CONTACT: For further information please contact: Sue Charles or Jodi Lewisat Northbank Communications, Tel: +44-(0)20-7886-8155, Paul Colford, CEO or Professor WilliamRRosenberg, CSO at iQur Limite, Tel: +44-(0)2380-798945 or+44-(0)7788-975-755, Email: For high-resolution images please contact:Jodi Lewis, Account Executive, Northbank Communications,+44-(0)20-7886-8155,

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