LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals Finalizes Agreement for $28M Series 'C' Financing Round

Mar 18, 2008, 01:00 ET from LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    BOZEMAN, Mont., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals,
 Inc., a vaccine company in Bozeman, Montana, announced that the company has
 successfully finalized an agreement for a $28 million venture capital
 financing round to further clinical development of its two lead vaccines
 against norovirus and influenza.
 
     The private equity investment is being led by Forward Ventures, JAFCO,
 and Novartis Venture Fund with significant participation from Fidelity
 Biosciences and MedImmune Ventures. Additional investors include Athenian
 Venture Partners and MC Life Sciences Ventures (Mitsubishi International
 Corporation). Seaview Securities serves as the placement agent for the
 transaction.
 
     LigoCyte, which develops products based on its virus-like particle
 (VLP) and monoclonal antibody technologies, has focused efforts on vaccines
 for important gastrointestinal and respiratory markets. Recent advances by
 the company of its VLP vaccines for norovirus and influenza propelled the
 current investment. In particular, the company is currently completing a
 Phase I clinical study of the norovirus vaccine and plans to commence a
 live-virus challenge study in human volunteers.
 
     Norovirus is the leading cause of infectious gastroenteritis in the
 United States and other developed countries. Norovirus outbreaks are
 becoming increasingly recognized as an important contributor to morbidity
 and mortality in vulnerable populations, particularly in pediatric and
 geriatric subjects. Recent progress in detection and surveillance has
 increased awareness of norovirus in the health care community, and epidemic
 outbreaks in hospitals, nursing homes and schools highlight the
 significance of the medical need for a safe and effective vaccine.
 
     In addition to the norovirus vaccine program, LigoCyte has developed an
 influenza VLP vaccine that has demonstrated significant cross-protection
 against lethal influenza challenge in the industry standard model of
 vaccine performance. The company is looking forward to aggressively moving
 this vaccine candidate into human clinical testing.
 
     "We are very pleased with the level of interest that LigoCyte has
 generated in the investor community," said Donald Beeman, LigoCyte's Chief
 Executive Officer. "We are especially pleased with the mix of institutional
 and strategic investors in this Series C round of financing. These
 resources will fund LigoCyte through critical proof of principle of our
 later-stage development candidates."
 
     The new Chairman of the Board, Ivor Royston, M.D., Founding Managing
 Member of Forward Ventures, stated: "We are very excited about investing in
 LigoCyte as a clinical stage company because of the potential of protecting
 large populations against viral infections that cause significant morbidity
 and mortality throughout the world. LigoCyte addresses a large unmet need
 in today's vaccine space. If further work bears out, the LigoCyte VLP
 platform may become the method of choice to produce the next generation of
 efficacious vaccines for both seasonal influenza and avian influenza."
 
     Prior support of LigoCyte has come from many different individuals and
 organizations. Robert Bargatze, the company's Chief Scientific Officer and
 one of its founders commented, "Montana is fortunate to have a growing
 venture capital and investor network, such as Glacier Venture Fund and the
 Frontier Angel Fund that can contribute to the growth of small companies.
 The encouragement and support from our elected officials has also made a
 significant difference in the company's success. It is our goal to be one
 of many successful biotech companies in Montana. This investment provides
 an example of the viability of the entrepreneurial spirit in Montana and
 represents the largest single private equity investment ever made in a
 Montana biotech company."
 
     For more information on LigoCyte, please visit http://www.ligocyte.com.
 
 
 

SOURCE LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    BOZEMAN, Mont., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals,
 Inc., a vaccine company in Bozeman, Montana, announced that the company has
 successfully finalized an agreement for a $28 million venture capital
 financing round to further clinical development of its two lead vaccines
 against norovirus and influenza.
 
     The private equity investment is being led by Forward Ventures, JAFCO,
 and Novartis Venture Fund with significant participation from Fidelity
 Biosciences and MedImmune Ventures. Additional investors include Athenian
 Venture Partners and MC Life Sciences Ventures (Mitsubishi International
 Corporation). Seaview Securities serves as the placement agent for the
 transaction.
 
     LigoCyte, which develops products based on its virus-like particle
 (VLP) and monoclonal antibody technologies, has focused efforts on vaccines
 for important gastrointestinal and respiratory markets. Recent advances by
 the company of its VLP vaccines for norovirus and influenza propelled the
 current investment. In particular, the company is currently completing a
 Phase I clinical study of the norovirus vaccine and plans to commence a
 live-virus challenge study in human volunteers.
 
     Norovirus is the leading cause of infectious gastroenteritis in the
 United States and other developed countries. Norovirus outbreaks are
 becoming increasingly recognized as an important contributor to morbidity
 and mortality in vulnerable populations, particularly in pediatric and
 geriatric subjects. Recent progress in detection and surveillance has
 increased awareness of norovirus in the health care community, and epidemic
 outbreaks in hospitals, nursing homes and schools highlight the
 significance of the medical need for a safe and effective vaccine.
 
     In addition to the norovirus vaccine program, LigoCyte has developed an
 influenza VLP vaccine that has demonstrated significant cross-protection
 against lethal influenza challenge in the industry standard model of
 vaccine performance. The company is looking forward to aggressively moving
 this vaccine candidate into human clinical testing.
 
     "We are very pleased with the level of interest that LigoCyte has
 generated in the investor community," said Donald Beeman, LigoCyte's Chief
 Executive Officer. "We are especially pleased with the mix of institutional
 and strategic investors in this Series C round of financing. These
 resources will fund LigoCyte through critical proof of principle of our
 later-stage development candidates."
 
     The new Chairman of the Board, Ivor Royston, M.D., Founding Managing
 Member of Forward Ventures, stated: "We are very excited about investing in
 LigoCyte as a clinical stage company because of the potential of protecting
 large populations against viral infections that cause significant morbidity
 and mortality throughout the world. LigoCyte addresses a large unmet need
 in today's vaccine space. If further work bears out, the LigoCyte VLP
 platform may become the method of choice to produce the next generation of
 efficacious vaccines for both seasonal influenza and avian influenza."
 
     Prior support of LigoCyte has come from many different individuals and
 organizations. Robert Bargatze, the company's Chief Scientific Officer and
 one of its founders commented, "Montana is fortunate to have a growing
 venture capital and investor network, such as Glacier Venture Fund and the
 Frontier Angel Fund that can contribute to the growth of small companies.
 The encouragement and support from our elected officials has also made a
 significant difference in the company's success. It is our goal to be one
 of many successful biotech companies in Montana. This investment provides
 an example of the viability of the entrepreneurial spirit in Montana and
 represents the largest single private equity investment ever made in a
 Montana biotech company."
 
     For more information on LigoCyte, please visit http://www.ligocyte.com.
 
 
 SOURCE LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc.