Cytochroma Closes $45 million Series C Financing

    Proceeds to Advance Clinical development of Lead Drug Candidates

    TORONTO, July 30 /CNW/ - VentureLink LP, manager of the VentureLink Group
of labour-sponsored investment funds, with over $280 million in assets under
management, today announced that Cytochroma announced the closing of a CDN $45
million Series C financing. The financing was led by a new investor,
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation ("MTPC"), and supported by a number of
existing investors including VentureLink Brighter Future Fund Inc., Caisse de
Dépôt et Placement du Québec, Novo A/S, Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund
Inc., Vengrowth Advanced Life Sciences Fund Inc., T(2)C(2)/Bio 2000 Limited
Partnership, GrowthWorks Canadian Fund Ltd., and BDC Capital Inc. John
Varghese, Managing Partner of VentureLink is an observer on the Board of
Cytochroma, a VentureLink portfolio company since October 2001.
    Charles W. Bishop, PhD, Cytochroma's President and CEO stated, "We are
grateful for the strong support of MTPC and our existing investors as we work
to achieve our goal of becoming an integrated specialty pharmaceutical
company. This latest funding provides Cytochroma with the financial capability
to aggressively drive the development of our clinical-stage therapeutic
pipeline." "Charles Bishop and his team have done an incredible job in
creating shareholder value and in helping secure a world class strategic
investor like MTPC to Cytochroma" added Varghese.
    The new funding will be used to advance Cytochroma's portfolio of vitamin
D-based therapeutics into mid- and late-stage clinical trials. Cytochroma's
product candidates target disorders related to altered vitamin D metabolism in
chronic kidney disease ("CKD") patients, and include CTA018 and CTAP201 for
the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism ("SHPT"), and CTAP101 for the
treatment of vitamin D insufficiency. These three lead products address
significant markets that are expected to grow to more than $1.4 billion
annually by 2013 in North America.
    Under the terms of the agreement, Cytochroma has granted MTPC an
exclusive license to develop, manufacture and commercialize CTA018 in the
United States and Asia. Cytochroma may receive up to a total of CDN $105
million, which includes an upfront payment, milestone payments, and an equity
investment. In exchange for the equity investment, MTPC will receive a certain
number of Cytochroma's Class C shares. MTPC and Cytochroma will jointly
develop and commercialize CTA018 in the United States. In Asia, including
Japan, MTPC has full rights and responsibilities for product development,
approval, and commercialization of CTA018, and will pay Cytochroma a royalty
on sales.

    About Chronic Kidney Disease

    According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than eight million
patients in the U.S. suffer from moderate CKD (Stages 3 and 4) to severe CKD
(Stage 5). Stages 3 and 4 CKD are characterized by progressively decreasing
kidney function as measured by glomerular filtration rate. In Stage 5, kidney
function is altogether absent and patients require regular dialysis or kidney
transplant for survival. An estimated 70-90% of CKD patients have vitamin D
insufficiency, which can lead to SHPT and resultant debilitating bone
diseases. Mounting evidence continues to link vitamin D insufficiency with
progression of CKD and death. CKD is caused most frequently by diabetes or
hypertension, both of which are consequences of a growing obesity epidemic in
countries worldwide.

    About Cytochroma

    Cytochroma is a clinical stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused
on developing and commercializing proprietary products to treat and prevent
the clinical consequences of vitamin D insufficiency and SHPT associated with
CKD. The Company's vitamin D-based therapeutics are designed to safely and
effectively treat patients with Stage 3, 4 or 5 CKD. In addition, Cytochroma
is developing novel therapies to treat hyperphosphatemia in these same
patients. For more information, please visit

    About VentureLink

    With over $280 million under management, VentureLink Funds is a diverse
group of labour-sponsored funds ("LSIF"). The group was a pioneer in bringing
funds focused on mezzanine debt to the LSIF market, a conservative approach
that provides investors benefit from the security of debt positions along with
the growth potential of participating equity.
    VentureLink Funds give investors access to well-diversified portfolios of
established companies operating in traditional industries such as financial,
manufacturing and service industries as well as dynamic industries like
alternative energy.
    The company maintains a strong relationship with CI Financial Inc., who
performs client services and client account administration for the Funds. For
more information, please visit:

For further information:

For further information: John Varghese, Managing Partner, VentureLink
LP, (416) 681-6371

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