Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Raises $8.9 Million In Series D Round Of Financing

Published: Jun 12, 2006

GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company focused on developing therapeutic and diagnostic products for cancer, announced today that it has closed its Series D Private Placement raising $8.9 million. Participants in the round included Konishi Hiroshi; Kenso Kogyo Co., Ltd.; Kyokuto Securities Co., Ltd.; Medikit Co., Ltd.; Mizuho Capital Co., Ltd.; Nomura Research & Advisory Co., Ltd.; Shin Nihon Jitsugyo Co., Ltd.; and SOFTBANK INVESTMENT CORPORATION.

Proceeds from this round of investment will be used to advance the diagnostic and therapeutic products within the Company's HAAH Oncology Program, as well as strengthen the Company's pipeline.

"We expect to initiate several clinical trials involving our cancer diagnostics and therapeutic products over the next 12-18 months. This investment will hasten our progress towards commercialization of a broad range of products to diagnose and treat a number of serious malignancies," stated Hossein A. Ghanbari, Ph.D., CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of Panacea. "We welcome our new investors and their commitment to the long-term support of Panacea and its product development efforts."

Background on HAAH Oncology Program

The Company's HAAH Oncology Program is based on the enzyme human aspartyl (asparaginyl) beta-hydroxylase (HAAH). HAAH over-expression has been detected in more than twenty tumor types tested to date, including cancers of the pancreas, breast, ovary, liver, colon, prostate, lung, brain, and bile duct. HAAH over-expression has been detected in 99% of tumor specimens (greater than 1000) tested to date and not in normal or adjacent non-affected tissue. The HAAH protein is expressed on the surface of cancer cells, facilitating an antibody-based treatment approach. In in vitro studies, anti-HAAH antibodies have been shown to stimulate reversion of cancer cells to a more normal phenotype as measured by the inhibition of growth, motility, and invasiveness. In addition, HAAH may be used to specifically deliver cytotoxic agents to tumor cells. Recent studies have determined the efficacy of anti-HAAH antibodies in vivo as measured by inhibition of tumor formation and growth in a xenograft model of primary human liver cancer. Furthermore, these antibodies significantly reduced the number and size of metastases in an animal model of human colon cancer metastasis to the liver.

The Company is actively pursuing the development of anti-HAAH antibodies as novel agents for the treatment of cancer, with liver cancer as its first intended indication. The Company is exploring the utility of both naked anti- HAAH antibodies, as well as antibody conjugates with various chemotherapeutic agents as lead candidates in this regard.

The Company is also developing a number of diagnostic products based on anti-HAAH antibodies including a simple blood test to detect the presence of HAAH. This assay has demonstrated excellent sensitivity and specificity and has potential utility in the diagnosis and management of disease. The Company expects to initiate clinical trials of this assay later in 2006 for the screening of individuals at high risk for prostate as well as for liver cancers.

About Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is using functional genomics and proteomics to develop therapeutics and diagnostics for diseases with substantial unmet clinical need. The Company's product development focus is on novel proteins and biochemical pathways related to cellular regulation and cell cycle abnormalities in oncology, as well as both acute and chronic neurodegenerative conditions such as hypoxia-induced cognitive impairment, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

More information about the Company is available at

Except for historical information presented in this press release, matters discussed herein may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward- looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management only as of the date of this release and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, uncertainties related to our access to capital, the progress, costs, and results of any clinical trials undertaken by us, progress of our research and development projects, and uncertainties related to whether our product candidates would ultimately achieve commercial success. We do not undertake any obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise unless required by law.

Contact: Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Kasra Ghanbari Phone 240-243-8000; FAX 240-465-0450

Source: Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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