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December 18, 2008


Filed under: SEBIO News — admin @ 2:14 pm

Atlanta, GA— Southeast BIO (SEBIO) announced four winners of the Second Annual SEBIO Awards in a ceremony held at its Tenth Anniversary Investor Forum in Palm Beach, FL on December 5th. The awards honored companies in the following categories: Southeast (SE) Deal of the Year: Initial Funding; SE Deal of the Year: Venture Capital Transaction and SE Deal of the Year: Strategic Transaction. In addition, the organization awarded its SE Leadership Award to an individual or organization that made a notable contribution to the growth of the life sciences industry in the region over the last year. The winners were ViewRay, Inc., Biolex, Inc., Serenex, Inc., and Rebecca Kaufman of King & Spalding, respectively.

“Our SEBIO Annual Awards recognize those companies and individuals that are driving the growth of the region’s life sciences industry,” said former SEBIO Chair Phillip Street, a partner with Kilpatrick Stockton. “We wanted to continue to highlight the success of our Investor Forum graduates, many of whom have gone on to raise substantial venture capital rounds, to partner with big pharma, and in many cases, to go public. These success stories show the maturation of the industry in our region and reflect very well on what is happening here to those who have an interest in getting to know our region a little better. The SEBIO Leadership Award, in particular, is a great way to highlight the role of individuals who really distinguish themselves by their unique contribution to our industry.”

“The recipients of the awards have achieved outstanding success in 2008 and it’s a pleasure to honor them,” said SEBIO 2008 Awards Committee Chair Garheng Kong, Intersouth Partners. “We have high hopes for them in the future and believe that these companies are an example of the numerous strong companies we have in the Southeast.”

Viewray, Inc. won the SE Deal of the Year: Initial Funding Award. Viewray was honored for its $25 million financing in January. The financing was led by OrbiMed Advisors and Fidelity Biosciences, and was joined by Aisling Capital, and Kearny Venture Partners. ViewRay is focused on the development of a real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided radiation therapy device for the treatment of cancer patients.

Biolex, Inc. won the SE Deal of the Year: Venture Capital Transaction Award. Biolex was honored for its $60 million Series D financing in October. Leading the financing was Clarus Ventures with OrbiMed Advisors participating as a new investor. Existing investors participating in the financing included Intersouth Partners, Quaker BioVentures, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Investor Growth Capital, Polaris Ventures, Mitsui & Company, The Dow Chemical Company, JP Morgan Securities and the North Carolina Economic Development Fund. Biolex is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that uses its patented LEX SystemSM to develop hard-to-make therapeutic proteins and to optimize monoclonal antibodies. The Company’s lead drug candidate is Locteron, a controlled-release interferon alfa designed to improve patient care in the treatment of hepatitis C through a more favorable side-effect profile and dosing convenience compared to existing pegylated interferon products.

Serenex, Inc. won the SE Deal of the Year: Strategic Transaction for its strategic alliance with Pfizer, Inc. Pfizer acquired cancer treatment developer Serenex, a seven-year-old company that raised $81 million in equity over its life. Pfizer acquired the rights to Serenex’ lead compound, oral Hsp90 inhibitor SNX-5422, currently in Phase I trials for solid tumors and hematological malignancies. In addition, Pfizer also acquired Serenex’ drug discovery technology and its small molecule Hsp90 inhibitor compound library, including targets for cancer, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Becky Kaufman, partner with King & Spalding, was honored for the SE Leadership Award. Becky was recognized for her incredible devotion to the organization for the past ten years. For the majority of the past ten years, SEBIO was an all-volunteer organization, with no paid staff, Becky has been described as the “glue” that held things together year after year. She has served many roles, including Chair of the Investor Forum (2005), Chair of SEBIO (2007) and, currently, Chair of the Marketing Committee.

The Third Annual SEBIO Awards Ceremony will be held during the 2009 Southeastern BIO Investor Forum on December 3-4, 2009, at the Charleston Place in Charleston, SC. Further details will be posted on the SEBIO web site.

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