Spinifex Pharmaceuticals Pty Limited Secures A $12M Investment to Develop Pain Drug

Published: Sep 03, 2008

• Investment by GBS Venture Partners, Brandon Capital and Uniseed • First A$6m Tranche Received, Second at Phase II • Phase II Trial Targeted for 2009

MELBOURNE, Australia, September 3, 2008 - Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, an Australian pain drug development company, today announced it has secured venture capital investment of A$12 million from GBS Venture Partners Limited, Brandon Capital Partners and Uniseed to fund the development of its pain management drug, EMA401.

The funding is in two tranches, the first $6 million has been received and the second tranche has been targeted for Phase II clinical trials of EMA401 due to start in late 2009.

Based in Melbourne, Spinifex was established in 2005 to develop new drug candidates for the treatment and management of pain. Its lead candidate, EMA401, is currently in Phase I clinical trials under an Investigational New Drug application (IND) with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with results from the first clinical trial expected at the end of this year or early 2009.

Spinifex’s clinical program is focused on an area of high unmet medical need. Demand for pain drugs continues to increase, fuelling the growth of a market that is expected to be worth US$75 billion annually by 2010.

Spinifex’s principal technology relates to the discovery made by University of Queensland researchers led by Professor Maree Smith, of a novel pathway for the treatment of neuropathic and inflammatory pain.

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals CEO Tom McCarthy said: “We are very pleased to have secured the support of these key investors, and are buoyed by the strength of the venture capital funding system in Australia for companies with strong prospects, particularly in the context of the ongoing pressure on listed biotechnology companies.”

“The support of these three institutions validates our research effort to date and provides us with the platform to take our clinical candidate EMA401 closer to commercialisation.”

The investment by GBS Venture Partners and Uniseed is the second investment in Spinifex for both funds. Along with Symbiosis Group, they were part of a 2005 syndicate that invested A$3.25 million into the company that was spun out of UniQuest, the commercialisation arm of the University of Queensland.

“We have identified a clear and valuable market for Spinifex’s lead compound and believe the company’s clinical program is well placed to serve a significant and growing global market,” GBS’s Dr Andrew Baker said.

“Brandon Capital is excited by the opportunity to participate in what we see as a very significant clinical program,” Brandon Capital’s Chris Nave said.

Dr McCarthy said while the new funding is being targeted at developing the company’s lead candidate through Phase II clinical trails, management are also working towards deepening Spinifex’s clinical pipeline.

For more information please contact:

Company Media Dr Tom McCarthy Paul Dekkers CEO Spinifex Pharmaceuticals Buchan Consulting Tel: +61 (0)3 9572 1131 Tel: +61 (0)2 9237 2800 Mobile: + 61 (0) 411 102 143 Mobile: + 61 (0) 418 187 72 E-mail: pdekkers@bcg.com.au

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