VANCOUVER, June 2 /CNW/ - Inimex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is pleased to
announce the closing of a US $22 Million Series B venture financing. Leading
the round was Morningside Venture Investments Ltd., joined by additional new
investors Roche Venture Fund, Switzerland, CA-based Astellas Venture
Management LLC, the corporate venture capital arm of Astellas Pharma Inc. in
Japan, and BC-based Advantage Life Science Fund II. Completing the round were
existing Canadian investors, BC Advantage Funds (VCC) Ltd., BDC Capital Inc.,
British Columbia Discovery Fund (VCC) Inc., the Canadian Medical Discovery
Fund Ltd. managed by JovInvestment Management, Inc. and the Working
Opportunity Fund (EVCC) Ltd., managed by GrowthWorks Capital Ltd.
The funds will enable Inimex to conduct the first clinical trials of an
Innate Defense Regulator (IDR) drug in patients and to evaluate IDR drugs in a
broad range of disease models. IDRs are novel drugs that selectively trigger
the body's innate defenses, protecting against antibiotic-resistant infections
and controlling inflammation.
"We are pleased to join leading Canadian investors in support of Inimex
as it moves into the all-important human clinical trials," said Dr. Gerald
Chan, co-founder of Morningside. "The company's preclinical data suggest the
possibility of an outstanding class of new drugs that will change the way we
treat and control infectious disease. It is exciting to be part of Inimex - a
company that could change the landscape of medicine."
Dr. John North, President and CEO of Inimex added, "We are delighted to
welcome this group of leading international investors on board. This funding
is a vote of confidence in Inimex's preclinical findings and the development
of our ground-breaking drugs, which have huge potential in control of
infection and inflammation."
Inimex and its co-founders Dr. Bob Hancock and Dr. Brett Finlay, from the
University of British Columbia, have received widespread international
attention for their pioneering research on IDR peptide drugs. Most recently,
their leadership was recognized with the award of a grant from the Gates Grand
Challenges in Global Health through the Foundation for the National Institutes
of Health, as well as with a published article in Nature Biotechnology
describing the effectiveness of IDRs on a variety of bacterial infections.
Their studies show that these agents, mimicking naturally occurring compounds,
quickly boost the immune system and control inflammation, enabling the body to
fight off infections when antibiotics don't work.
"We believe IDR peptides will have broad application in patients of all
ages, acting against infections associated with cystic fibrosis, pneumonia,
inflammation and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy," said North. "We
are in desperate need of a new approach to treatments of superbugs because the
antibiotic resistance problem is rapidly becoming more prevalent."
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin
Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) are bacteria responsible for infections that defy
treatment by most antibiotics. MRSA and VRE, especially troublesome in
hospital-associated infections, cause more than 90,000 deaths each year in
About Morningside Group
Morningside Group (www.morningside.com) is a diversified investment group
founded in 1986 by the Chan family of Hong Kong. It is engaged primarily in
private equity and venture capital investments. The group has investments in
North America, Europe, across Asia-Pacific, and since 1992, in Mainland China.
The Morningside Group was one of the earliest institutional investors in
China's internet industry and in recent years has been an active investor in
China's emerging biotechnology sector.
About Inimex Pharmaceuticals
Inimex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical
company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of new
medicines based on the selective modulation of the innate immune response.
Inimex' first in class products show promise for the safe and effective
treatment of a broad spectrum of serious unmet medical needs in infectious
disease and inflammatory disorders.
For more information, please visit: www.inimexpharma.com
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For further information: Angela Wiebe, Media Relations, Curve
Communications, T: (604) 684-3170 ext. 104, C: (604) 306-5279, E: