Diagnoplex Closes CHF10 Million ($8.3 Million) Series A Financing

Geschrieben am 10-12-2008

Lausanne, Switzerland (ots/PRNewswire) - Diagnoplex, a
developer of molecular cancer diagnostics today announced the closing
of a Series A financing raising CHF10 million ($8.3 million). The
A-round was led by Novartis Venture Fund and NeoMed, with Initiative
Capital Romandie acting as co-investor. The Novartis Venture Fund was
also a seed investor in the company. BCCC Avocats acted as counsel to
the investors and BMP Associés acted as counsel to the company.

In connection with the financing, Anja König, Ph.D., a Managing
Director of Novartis Venture Fund, and Thomas Goebel, Ph.D., a
Principal at NeoMed, will join Diagnoplex' board of directors, while
Claude Suard, Partner at DEFI Gestion, will join the board as an

Diagnoplex technology platform

Leveraging its unique and proprietary molecular platform
capabilities, Diagnoplex develops blood-based cancer diagnostics.
Diagnoplex' single-channel quantitative multiplex reverse
transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (scqmRT-PCR) yields the
quantification of copy number obtained with real-time PCR, and allows
quantifying up to 60 genes simultaneously. The scqmRT-PCR platform
offers several important competitive advantages. It pairs the high
accuracy and reliability of PCR with the possibility to read out
multi-gene signatures of different cancers. As opposed to microarray
platforms, it is easily scalable and can be run in most standard
testing laboratories. Stavros Therianos, PhD, founder and chief
executive officer of Diagnoplex, developed the platform during his
tenure at Rochester University, NY.

Diagnoplex lead product - Colox

Diagnoplex will use the proceeds from the financing to support
the further clinical development of its lead product Colox, a
non-invasive test for the early detection of colon cancer, which will
be made available as a ready-to-use clinical laboratory kit. Early
results obtained in a training set of 140 patients have shown that
the power of the molecular platform allows Colox to detect even the
pre-cancerous stage of adenoma. Early detection and intervention by
colonoscopy can have an important impact on the epidemiology of colon
cancer, one of the main causes of cancer related mortality in the
western world. It is estimated that survival rates improve to 90%
when colorectal cancer is detected early.

"We are excited to be working with Diagnoplex on developing their
technology for the non-invasive detection of colon cancer. Colon
cancer is one of the leading causes of death and early detection
makes a huge difference in patient survival. Since compliance with
guidelines for screening with colonoscopy is poor, too many cases are
detected too late. The need for non-invasive screening is
tremendous," said Anja König.

"Diagnoplex is targeting a very exciting market opportunity for
molecular diagnostics. With the rise of personalized medicine, this
is one of the healthcare areas with vast market potential that is
currently underserved. We believe that Diagnoplex will be a leader in
this important field," said Thomas Goebel.

"We are excited to welcome a high quality group of investors and
look forward to working with this outstanding syndicate to bring
powerful new cancer screening approaches to bear on the early
detection of cancer," said Stavros Therianos, Ph.D., chief executive
officer and founder of Diagnoplex.

About Novartis Venture Fund

Novartis Venture Fund, established in 1996, has currently over
$650 million under management and is invested in more than 50 private
companies. The Novartis Venture Fund invests in companies which have
the potential to lead the next innovation wave in core therapeutic
fields or explore new business areas that will be critical to patient
care. The NVF team of eight investment professionals located in
Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MA brings together extensive
experience in pharmaceutical R&D and venture capital.

About NeoMed

NeoMed Management is an international investment firm,
exclusively focusing on the healthcare and life science industry.
Founded in 1996, NeoMed has established four funds, with total
committed capital exceeding $200 million. NeoMed invests in young
companies with outstanding growth prospects. Portfolio companies
typically develop innovative products addressing inadequately served
medical needs. To date NeoMed has backed more than 30 companies in
the USA and Europe, including Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany and
the UK. NeoMed has offices in Norway, Switzerland and the US.

About Initiative Capital Romandie (ICR)

ICR is a Swiss venture capital fund, managed by DEFI Gestion SA,
a Lausanne based private equity fund advisor. ICR has been founded in
2006 by four partners (Retraites Populaires Vie, Banque Cantonale
Vaudoise, Centre Patronal and Etablissement Cantonal d'Assurance).
ICR supports high-tech starts-ups based in the French part of
Switzerland. ( http://www.defigestion.ch)

For more information on Diagnoplex, please visit

ots Originaltext: Diagnoplex
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.de

CONTACT: Stavros Therianos, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer,
s.therianos@diagnoplex.com, +41-21-653-66-92


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