Cellular Genomics Completes $22 Million Private Financing and Appoints New Members to the Board of Directors

Apr 05, 2001, 01:00 ET from Cellular Genomics, Inc.

    BRANFORD, Conn., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellular Genomics, Inc., today
 announced the completion of a $22 million round of private equity financing
 led by MPM Capital, together with AGTC Funds, Inc., Vector Fund Management,
 and existing shareholders CHL Medical Partners and Connecticut Innovations,
 Inc.
     Michael Steinmetz, Ph.D., General Partner of MPM Capital, and Noubar
 Afeyan, Ph.D., Managing Partner of AGTC Funds, have joined the Cellular
 Genomics Board of Directors.
     Cellular Genomics, Inc., is a genomics-based drug discovery company that
 has assembled a set of powerful functional genomic and proteomic technologies
 which couple unprecedented rigor in the identification and validation of novel
 drug targets to unique drug discovery capabilities, including proprietary
 high-throughput and high content drug screens.   These integrated technologies
 provide comprehensive gene-to-screen-to-lead solutions designed to markedly
 enhance and accelerate the drug discovery process.  The funds raised will
 allow CGI to significantly expand its capabilities and comprehensively advance
 its functional genomic and drug discovery programs.
     "We are very gratified by this milestone, as we are now well positioned to
 broadly develop and commercialize all of our technologies," said Louis Matis,
 M.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Cellular Genomics.  "We are
 particularly pleased to have assembled this leading group of investors and to
 have added Dr. Steinmetz and Dr. Afeyan to our Board of Directors.  Their
 insight and experience represent invaluable resources to Cellular Genomics in
 this exciting phase of our growth."
     Dr. Steinmetz joined MPM in 1997 from Hoffmann-La Roche, where he had
 served as Vice President of Preclinical Research and Development, directing
 the research efforts of over 800 scientists.  He also conceptualized and
 managed many of Hoffmann-La Roche's research-stage alliances including the
 company's first investment in genomics (Millennium) as well as the company's
 collaborations with Incyte Pharmaceuticals and Caliper Technologies.  Dr.
 Steinmetz obtained his doctoral degree summa cum laude from the University of
 Munich and held positions at the California Institute of Technology and the
 Basel Institute for Immunology prior to joining Hoffmann-La Roche in
 Switzerland.  Dr. Steinmetz is currently Chairman at GPC Biotech and
 Coelacanth Corporation.  He is also a director of Acorda Therapeutics, Arena
 Pharmaceuticals, Atugen, Caliper Technologies, Epigenomics, IDEA, MacroGenics
 and Xcyte.
     Dr. Afeyan is the Founder, President and CEO of NewcoGen Group, a new
 ventures firm he founded in 1999.  NewcoGen Group is comprised of NewcoGen, a
 $60 million fund for new venture creation, as well as Applied Genomic
 Technology Capital (AGTC) Funds, a $150 million venture capital fund for the
 genomics industry.  Until August 1999, he was Senior Vice President and Chief
 Business Officer of Applera Corporation (previously PE Corp.).  While at
 Applera, Dr. Afeyan initiated and oversaw the creation of Celera Genomics, a
 tracking stock group of Applera.  He was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of
 PerSeptive Biosystems, a leader in the bioinstrumentation field that merged
 with PE Corp. in 1998.  Dr. Afeyan also served as Chairman of the Board of
 ChemGenics Pharmaceuticals, a genomics and drug discovery company that was
 acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 1997.  Dr. Afeyan earned his Ph.D.
 in Biochemical Engineering from MIT and is currently a senior lecturer at
 MIT's Sloan School of Management.  He is a member of the Board of Directors
 for Antigenics, Exact Sciences, and Color Kinetics, as well as NewcoGen
 ventures Beyond Genomics, Blue Ripple, engeneOS and InfiniSwitch.  In
 addition, Dr. Afeyan is a member of the Board of Visitors of Boston University
 Medical School.
     "We are proud to be a significant investor in Cellular Genomics, a company
 that is destined to become a prominent player in target finding, validation
 and drug discovery in the post-genomics era," said Dr. Michael Steinmetz.  "I
 look forward to working closely with the company to achieve this goal."
     "Cellular Genomics' technologies should accelerate the pace of significant
 discoveries built upon the human genome," said Noubar B. Afeyan, Ph.D. "I am
 pleased to join the Cellular Genomics board, as the Company exemplifies the
 kind of investment opportunity for which we organized AGTC Funds," Afeyan
 continued.
 
     About Cellular Genomics
     Cellular Genomics, Inc. is commercializing a uniquely integrated set of
 technology platforms for the identification and validation of novel drug
 targets, and the development of breakthrough therapeutics for major human
 diseases.  The Company expects to set a new paradigm for genomics based drug
 discovery by coupling rigorous, high quality functional target validation with
 powerful drug discovery capabilities including proprietary cell-based high-
 throughput and high-content drug screens.  The Company's proprietary
 technologies include a unique chemical genetic approach based upon the
 discovery of analog sensitive enzyme alleles, which provide unprecedented
 physiologic and pharmacologic relevance in target validation and drug
 discovery.  Through the application of functionally intact and
 pharmacologically inhibitable analog sensitive kinase alleles (ASKAs) and
 proprietary P-Target(TM) and P-Inhibitor(TM) platforms, this broadly enabling
 chemical genetic technology has been applied to protein kinases, an important
 class of drug targets across multiple clinical indications, including cancer,
 inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases.  The Company's complementary Membrane
 1-hybrid(TM) technology platform is a unique system for detecting protein-
 protein interactions at the cell membrane, and has utility both with respect
 to cell pathway mapping and as a high throughput drug screen for membrane
 proteins, a rich source of drug targets.  Cellular Genomics' Immunology
 Program employs a proprietary cell biologic/proteomic platform for
 identification and validation of novel drug targets from dendritic cells, key
 regulators of the immune response with roles in autoimmunity, cancer, and
 infectious diseases.  Cellular Genomics has also established a strong
 bioinformatics infrastructure to capture the Company's comprehensive
 functional and pathway mapping information on multiple drug targets.  CGI will
 leverage all of these capabilities to develop its own, internal drug discovery
 opportunities as well as to develop collaborative programs with pharmaceutical
 partners.
     More information is available at CGI's Web site: www.cellulargenomics.com.
 
 

SOURCE Cellular Genomics, Inc.
    BRANFORD, Conn., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellular Genomics, Inc., today
 announced the completion of a $22 million round of private equity financing
 led by MPM Capital, together with AGTC Funds, Inc., Vector Fund Management,
 and existing shareholders CHL Medical Partners and Connecticut Innovations,
 Inc.
     Michael Steinmetz, Ph.D., General Partner of MPM Capital, and Noubar
 Afeyan, Ph.D., Managing Partner of AGTC Funds, have joined the Cellular
 Genomics Board of Directors.
     Cellular Genomics, Inc., is a genomics-based drug discovery company that
 has assembled a set of powerful functional genomic and proteomic technologies
 which couple unprecedented rigor in the identification and validation of novel
 drug targets to unique drug discovery capabilities, including proprietary
 high-throughput and high content drug screens.   These integrated technologies
 provide comprehensive gene-to-screen-to-lead solutions designed to markedly
 enhance and accelerate the drug discovery process.  The funds raised will
 allow CGI to significantly expand its capabilities and comprehensively advance
 its functional genomic and drug discovery programs.
     "We are very gratified by this milestone, as we are now well positioned to
 broadly develop and commercialize all of our technologies," said Louis Matis,
 M.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Cellular Genomics.  "We are
 particularly pleased to have assembled this leading group of investors and to
 have added Dr. Steinmetz and Dr. Afeyan to our Board of Directors.  Their
 insight and experience represent invaluable resources to Cellular Genomics in
 this exciting phase of our growth."
     Dr. Steinmetz joined MPM in 1997 from Hoffmann-La Roche, where he had
 served as Vice President of Preclinical Research and Development, directing
 the research efforts of over 800 scientists.  He also conceptualized and
 managed many of Hoffmann-La Roche's research-stage alliances including the
 company's first investment in genomics (Millennium) as well as the company's
 collaborations with Incyte Pharmaceuticals and Caliper Technologies.  Dr.
 Steinmetz obtained his doctoral degree summa cum laude from the University of
 Munich and held positions at the California Institute of Technology and the
 Basel Institute for Immunology prior to joining Hoffmann-La Roche in
 Switzerland.  Dr. Steinmetz is currently Chairman at GPC Biotech and
 Coelacanth Corporation.  He is also a director of Acorda Therapeutics, Arena
 Pharmaceuticals, Atugen, Caliper Technologies, Epigenomics, IDEA, MacroGenics
 and Xcyte.
     Dr. Afeyan is the Founder, President and CEO of NewcoGen Group, a new
 ventures firm he founded in 1999.  NewcoGen Group is comprised of NewcoGen, a
 $60 million fund for new venture creation, as well as Applied Genomic
 Technology Capital (AGTC) Funds, a $150 million venture capital fund for the
 genomics industry.  Until August 1999, he was Senior Vice President and Chief
 Business Officer of Applera Corporation (previously PE Corp.).  While at
 Applera, Dr. Afeyan initiated and oversaw the creation of Celera Genomics, a
 tracking stock group of Applera.  He was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of
 PerSeptive Biosystems, a leader in the bioinstrumentation field that merged
 with PE Corp. in 1998.  Dr. Afeyan also served as Chairman of the Board of
 ChemGenics Pharmaceuticals, a genomics and drug discovery company that was
 acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 1997.  Dr. Afeyan earned his Ph.D.
 in Biochemical Engineering from MIT and is currently a senior lecturer at
 MIT's Sloan School of Management.  He is a member of the Board of Directors
 for Antigenics, Exact Sciences, and Color Kinetics, as well as NewcoGen
 ventures Beyond Genomics, Blue Ripple, engeneOS and InfiniSwitch.  In
 addition, Dr. Afeyan is a member of the Board of Visitors of Boston University
 Medical School.
     "We are proud to be a significant investor in Cellular Genomics, a company
 that is destined to become a prominent player in target finding, validation
 and drug discovery in the post-genomics era," said Dr. Michael Steinmetz.  "I
 look forward to working closely with the company to achieve this goal."
     "Cellular Genomics' technologies should accelerate the pace of significant
 discoveries built upon the human genome," said Noubar B. Afeyan, Ph.D. "I am
 pleased to join the Cellular Genomics board, as the Company exemplifies the
 kind of investment opportunity for which we organized AGTC Funds," Afeyan
 continued.
 
     About Cellular Genomics
     Cellular Genomics, Inc. is commercializing a uniquely integrated set of
 technology platforms for the identification and validation of novel drug
 targets, and the development of breakthrough therapeutics for major human
 diseases.  The Company expects to set a new paradigm for genomics based drug
 discovery by coupling rigorous, high quality functional target validation with
 powerful drug discovery capabilities including proprietary cell-based high-
 throughput and high-content drug screens.  The Company's proprietary
 technologies include a unique chemical genetic approach based upon the
 discovery of analog sensitive enzyme alleles, which provide unprecedented
 physiologic and pharmacologic relevance in target validation and drug
 discovery.  Through the application of functionally intact and
 pharmacologically inhibitable analog sensitive kinase alleles (ASKAs) and
 proprietary P-Target(TM) and P-Inhibitor(TM) platforms, this broadly enabling
 chemical genetic technology has been applied to protein kinases, an important
 class of drug targets across multiple clinical indications, including cancer,
 inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases.  The Company's complementary Membrane
 1-hybrid(TM) technology platform is a unique system for detecting protein-
 protein interactions at the cell membrane, and has utility both with respect
 to cell pathway mapping and as a high throughput drug screen for membrane
 proteins, a rich source of drug targets.  Cellular Genomics' Immunology
 Program employs a proprietary cell biologic/proteomic platform for
 identification and validation of novel drug targets from dendritic cells, key
 regulators of the immune response with roles in autoimmunity, cancer, and
 infectious diseases.  Cellular Genomics has also established a strong
 bioinformatics infrastructure to capture the Company's comprehensive
 functional and pathway mapping information on multiple drug targets.  CGI will
 leverage all of these capabilities to develop its own, internal drug discovery
 opportunities as well as to develop collaborative programs with pharmaceutical
 partners.
     More information is available at CGI's Web site: www.cellulargenomics.com.
 
 SOURCE  Cellular Genomics, Inc.