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arGEN-X Raises EUR9.5 Million to put SIMPLE Antibody(TM) Platform to Work

September 10, 2009

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands, September 10 /PRNewswire/ — arGEN-X BV, a
biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of human
antibodies using its proprietary SIMPLE Antibody(TM) platform, today
announced the successful first closing of its Series A equity financing
round. The Company raised EUR 9.5million (~ USD 13.6 million) from a
syndicate of leading life science investors. The financing round is one of
the largest of its kind in the last 12 months.

The deal was co-led by Forbion Capital Partners (The Netherlands) and LSP
(Life Sciences Partners – The Netherlands). Christina Takke for Forbion
Capital Partners and John de Koning for LSP have joined the arGEN-X
Supervisory Board. Other members of the syndicate are KBC Private Equity
(Belgium), BioGeneration Ventures (The Netherlands) and existing shareholders
Erasmus MC Biomedical Fund and Thuja Capital Healthcare Funds.

arGEN-X will use the proceeds to further develop the Company’s
proprietary, unencumbered SIMPLE Antibody(TM) engine and to continue to build
a proprietary pre-clinical antibody product portfolio. arGEN-X’s SIMPLE
Antibody(TM) platform yields monoclonal antibodies which combine an
unparalleled functional diversity against human disease targets with best in
class human germline homology. arGEN-X’s SIMPLE Antibodies(TM) are generated
in vivo, starting from active immunization, and exhibit ultra high starting
affinities and potencies without the need for further engineering.

The arGEN-X platform has the potential to rapidly create exciting product
candidates both against novel therapeutic targets and against targets where
standard antibody approaches fail to generate an optimal lead diversity.

Christina Takke, PhD, Principal at Forbion Capital Partners commented:
“We are impressed with the quality of the arGEN-X management team, their
solid business approach and outstanding achievements to date. The current
financing round will allow arGEN-X to unlock the real value of its
technology. Forbion is very pleased to support arGEN-X’s future plans in the
highly attractive monoclonal antibody space.”

John de Koning, PhD, Partner at LSP continued: “We are impressed by
arGEN-X’s SIMPLE Antibody(TM) platform, its strong proprietary position and
its ability to efficiently generate gold standard, human antibodies as
demonstrated by the Company’s lead program. We believe arGEN-X is well
positioned to play an important role in tomorrow’s human monoclonal antibody
market.”

Peter Verhaeghe, Chairman of the Board of arGEN-X added: “We are very
pleased with this significant equity financing, one of the largest early
stage investments in our sector in the past year. arGEN-X’s ability to raise
this significant financing from such a high quality investor syndicate in a
very difficult financial market is a strong vote of confidence in and a
testimony to the tremendous value creation potential of the Company and its
Team. arGEN-X is now well positioned to execute its business plan over the
next two years.”

Note for the Editor

About arGEN-X – http://www.arGEN-X.com

arGEN-X is a research stage biopharmaceutical company with a broadly
applicable, proprietary SIMPLE Antibody(TM) platform. The platform allows
arGEN-X to create an unparalleled diversity of in vivo generated antibody
leads against a broad range of human disease targets. This superior choice of
ultra-high affinity and highly potent leads, having best-in-class human
homology, allows for more stringent lead selection criteria, thereby
increasing the probability of success later in the drug development path. The
Company has validated its monoclonal antibody platform on two human disease
targets and has broad patent claims in place covering its technology.

arGEN-X(TM) and SIMPLE Antibody(TM) are deposited trademarks of arGEN-X
BV.

SIMPLE stands for Superior Immunodiversity with Minimal Protein Lead
Engineering.

About Forbion Capital Partners – http://www.forbion.com

Forbion Capital Partners is a Netherlands-based venture capital firm
focused on investing in life sciences companies, in particular in world-class
drug discovery & development as well as med tech companies addressing
substantial unmet medical needs. Forbion’s investment team of eight
investment professionals has built an impressive performance track record
since the late nineties with successful investments in Rhein Biotech,
Crucell, Neutec, Glycart, Borean, Impella, Alantos and Acorda. Current assets
under management exceed EUR 300M, split between three active funds and
comprising some 24 promising portfolio companies.

About LSP – http://www.lspvc.com

LSP (Life Sciences Partners) is a leading independent European investment
firm, providing financing to private and public life-science companies. Since
the late 1980s, LSP’s management has invested in a large number of highly
innovative enterprises, many of which have grown to become leaders of the
global life-science industry. For example, LSP was a founding investor in
Crucell, DNage, Qiagen, Rhein Biotech and Pharming. With over EUR 500 million
under management and offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP is one of
Europe’s largest and most experienced specialist life-science investors.

About KBC Private Equity – http://www.kbcpe.be

KBC Private Equity, the private equity company of the KBC Group, provides
development capital to and finances buy-outs of small and medium-sized
companies. KBC Private Equity takes both majority and minority stakes in
companies and contributes financial resources in the form of equity finance
and/or mezzanine finance. Boasting an experienced team of 25 people, KBC
Private Equity has more than 60 active direct investments in portfolio with a
market value in excess of EUR400 million. As an active shareholder with a
long-term perspective, it is involved in taking strategic decisions and
providing support to management in the further development of their company.
As part of KBC Group, KBC Private Equity can rely on the Group’s extensive
network and knowledge.

The Life Sciences division of KBC Private Equity invests in early- to
late-stage life-science companies, with a focus on pharmaceutical biotech.
Investments include Ablynx, Devgen, Innogenetics, Movetis, and Tibotec-Virco.

About BioGeneration Ventures – http://www.biogenerationventures.com

BioGeneration Ventures invests in seed and early stage Dutch Life
Sciences companies. The team of BioGeneration is specialized in creating
value from new technologies and the management of start-up companies.
BioGeneration Ventures was co-founded by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative
(NGI), NWO, the holding of the University of Leiden, and ABN-AMRO Capital.

About Erasmus MC Biomedical Fund – http://www.erasmusmcfund.nl

The Erasmus MC Biomedical Fund is an independent venture capital fund
focusing on early stage companies and (university) spin-outs in the
biotechnology and biomedical field with a presence in the Rotterdam region.
The fund targets companies that are developing commercially promising
products and technologies in life sciences, including pharmaceuticals,
biotechnology, information technology and other high technology opportunities
that offer venture capital returns.

About Thuja Capital Healthcare Funds – http://www.thujacapital.com

The Thuja Capital Healthcare Fund and Thuja Capital Healthcare Seed Fund
are venture capital funds structured to invest in life sciences innovations
with a focus on therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices. Whereby the
prime focus of the Seed Fund is on privately held early-stage life sciences
companies located in the Netherlands. The Thuja Capital Healthcare Seed Fund
and the Thuja Capital Healthcare Fund are managed by Thuja Capital. In
addition, Thuja Capital is the exclusive manager of AlpInvest Partners’
portfolio of early stage life sciences companies. Thuja Capital’s team has a
long-standing track record in successful life science investments. Apart from
equity investments, Thuja Capital aims to actively help their portfolio
companies to strengthen and grow their businesses.

    For further information, please contact:

    Citigate Dewe Rogerson
    David Dible, Mark Swallow
    T: +44-207-282-2949 / 2948
    E: David.Dible@citigatedr.co.uk

    arGEN-X
    Tim Van Hauwermeiren, MSc, eMBA
    Chief Executive Officer
    T: +31-6-122-85-257
    E: tim.vh@arGEN-X.com

SOURCE arGEN-X


Source: newswire



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