Newly Launched Asuragen, Inc. Closes Series A Funding Of $49 Million

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 1, 2006--Asuragen, Inc., an oncology molecular diagnostic company and molecular biology service provider, announces that it has secured $49 million in Series A funding. Asuragen, a spin-off of Ambion Inc., will dedicate the funds towards general operating needs and to pursue strategic licenses relating to the development of its cancer diagnostic and therapeutic programs.

This initial round of investment, led by San Francisco based Telegraph Hill Partners, included Houston based Growth Capital Partners and other firms that invested in Ambion, Inc. "Telegraph Hill Partners is delighted to have the opportunity to back Matt Winkler and his management team for a second time. We believe Asuragen's proven capabilities in molecular technologies have the potential to support major advances in the diagnosis and treatment of oncological diseases," said Matt Mackowski, Managing Director of Telegraph Hill Partners.

"We are very pleased with this first round of funding and the interest level it has attracted," said Matt Winkler, Founder and CEO of Asuragen, Inc. "We have a solid foundation of compelling technologies that set us apart from other companies. With this level of funding, combined with our expertise in miRNAs and pending patents, we are in a strong position to develop highly effective early cancer detection tools.

"In addition to a strong management team from Ambion, I am very excited to have Rollie Carlson join as the President for Asuragen. Rollie, with his wide breadth of diagnostic experience and strong general management record, will lead Asuragen in its goal to be a leading player in oncology molecular diagnostics."

Rollie, who joins Asuragen from Abbott Laboratories, has extensive experience in molecular diagnostic and pharmaceutical business areas. Most notably, Rollie managed the worldwide Vysis molecular diagnostic business following its acquisition by Abbott Laboratories. Rollie has also had significant roles at Abbott as a Vice President of Business Development & Licensing to establish new pharmaceutical and diagnostic platforms.

About Asuragen, Inc.

Asuragen, Inc. is a newly formed company that resulted from the sale, in March, 2006, of the Research Products Division of Ambion, Inc. to Applied Biosystems Group (NYSE: ABI - News). Asuragen is comprised of two of Ambion's former divisions, Diagnostics and Services, along with the formation of a new Discovery group dedicated to developing new technologies that will become cutting edge clinical products. This will significantly expand Asuragen's current product portfolio, which consists of Signature® Genetic Testing and Oncology Testing products, as well as industry leading controls and standards engineered using its patented Armored RNA® technology. Asuragen has recently formed a partnership with Digene Corporation (NASDAQ: DIGE - News) to market and distribute its Signature cystic fibrosis screening products. The vision for Asuragen is to become a fully integrated diagnostic reagent company focused on molecular oncology and early detection of cancer, with emphasis in microRNAs. Comprised of over 100 employees from a well-established company, Asuragen is empowered with not only scientific expertise, but also assay development, business infrastructure and an established cGMP manufacturing facility that allow it to span the spectrum of discovery, production and commercialization. For more information, visit

Contact: Asuragen Inc., Austin Vivian Wong, 512-651-0599

Source: Asuragen, Inc.

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