PITTSBORO, NC - Biolex, Inc., announced today the successful completion of its most recent venture financing totaling $24.4 million. The financing was led by Quaker BioVentures of Philadelphia, PA, and Intersouth Partners of Durham, NC. The round also included new investors The Trelys Funds, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners, The Dow Chemical Company, and Dogwood Equity. All existing investors participated, including The Wakefield Group, Kitty Hawk Capital, Franklin Street Partners, Tall Oaks Capital, and Academy Centennial Fund. The investment will be used to enhance Biolex's Lemna Expression (LEX) System for developing therapeutic proteins and to advance new protein drug candidates into development.
"We are very pleased with the caliber of our new investors, and also appreciative of the continued strong support we received from our existing investors," states Jan Turek, CEO of Biolex. "With the proceeds of this financing, Biolex will continue to make advances in our already "best-in-class" expression levels for recombinant proteins, put in place GMP manufacturing facilities, and advance our lead drug into human clinical trials. Biolex will also focus on the successful transition of its collaborations into long-term development agreements. We currently have active collaborations underway with four biopharmaceutical companies, including Bayer, Centocor and Debiopharm."
"Biolex is a company with great technology, a solid management team, a strong investor group, and huge potential," said Adrian Wilson, Managing General Partner of The Trelys Funds. "We're very pleased to be able to participate in this exciting investment."
The Biolex LEX System for the expression of human therapeutic proteins couples the ideal natural characteristics of the green aquatic plant, Lemna, with advanced genetic engineering and protein recovery methods. The LEX System uniquely combines the most desired qualities of mammalian cell culture, the current gold standard among existing expression systems (clonal replication, fast growth, high protein content, secretion of the target protein into the media, a contained and controlled environment), with the most sought after characteristics in next generation systems (speed of scale-up, significantly reduced capital requirement, low operating costs).
"Intersouth has been impressed with the significant progress that Biolex has made since its inception. We are excited to be working with Biolex and its world class management team to accelerate the availability of innovative drugs to the market," commented Mitch Mumma, General Partner of Intersouth Partners.
According to Jan Turek, "We are now well positioned to maximize the benefits of the LEX System for the expression of human therapeutic proteins. We have a strong patent position, an FDA-agreed production approach and have put in place a top-level management team with extensive industry experience in therapeutic proteins. We have established partnerships with four top-tier pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to commercialize the LEX System and, in parallel, are sourcing and developing our own proprietary proteins. Our mission at Biolex is to become the premier plant-based therapeutic protein company."
Biolex, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company devoted to discovering, developing and commercializing its proprietary advanced protein expression technology for the development of human therapeutics. Biolex' strategy focuses on the development of Biolex proteins as well as those obtained from partner companies. Biolex' corporate partners include Bayer Corporation, Centocor, Inc., Debiopharm S.A., and a major pharmaceutical company. The Company's headquarters and laboratory facility are based in Pittsboro, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.biolex.com.
About The Trelys Funds
Founded in 2001, The Trelys Funds is a venture capital investment group headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. Trelys focuses on an underserved market of entrepreneurs and investors located primarily in South Carolina, North Carolina and the surrounding region. The founding investors of The Trelys Funds include BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, BB&T Corporation, First Citizens Bank, the Clemson University Foundation, and the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation. For more information, visit www.trelys.com.
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