TVP, LP Announces Closing of Venture Capital Fund to Address Diabetes, Nutrition and Obesity Utilizing the Pennington Biomedical Research Center

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The fund manager of Louisiana Ventures, LP, a $25 million venture capital fund organized two years ago, is pleased to announce it has secured the financial commitments necessary to form a venture capital fund that will commercialize technologies from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

The fund manager of Louisiana Ventures, LP, a $25 million venture capital fund organized two years ago, is pleased to announce it has secured the financial commitments necessary to form a venture capital fund that will commercialize technologies from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

The new fund, TVP, LP (Themelios Venture Partners, LP), has raised $11 million to date in the Baton Rouge area, with a goal of reaching $30 million by its final closing. Major investors in the fund include the Pennington Family Foundation and other private sources of capital.

TVP, LP targets companies developing technologies in the fields of diabetes, obesity, cancer and nutrition. The fund will primarily concentrate on research originating from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center; however, a key strategy is to seek investment opportunities with companies outside of Louisiana that desire to partner with the center’s scientists or utilize its world class facilities.

LSU Law graduate Ross Barrett, Managing Partner of TVP, LP, said that “the Pennington Biomedical Research Center is this nation’s leading research facility for obesity, diabetes and nutrition. This fund is an excellent opportunity for the entire state of Louisiana as it will jump-start the creation of new industries, companies and jobs. More importantly, with our relationships and investment advisors from pharmaceutical companies and on Wall Street, it raises the center’s profile as a serious place to commercialize technology.”

Mr. Barrett, a former J. Bennett Johnston legislative aide, moved back to his home state of Louisiana from Manhattan two years ago to start Louisiana Ventures. He said that “the Pennington Biomedical Research Center is a sleeping giant of opportunity. With its focus on diabetes, nutrition and obesity, the center has the opportunity to be the world leader in commercializing new treatments for these diseases.”

Claude Bouchard, PhD, Executive Director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, explains that “the creation of this private sector fund occurs at a critical time in the growth of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. It will make it possible for our basic and clinical research scientists to move their discoveries from the laboratories to the market place. This new fund will also constitute a strong asset in our efforts to recruit new scientists who will bring with them cutting edge technologies in genetics, stem cell biology, developmental biology, imaging, neuroscience, metabolism, functional foods, clinical research, prevention of common diseases, and other areas of interest to the research programs of the center."

Stephen Moret, head of the Baton Rouge Chamber said that "the Pennington Biomedical Research Center is one of the top economic development opportunities in the Baton Rouge area. The untapped commercial possibilities there are huge - now they will have a much greater chance to be realized."

The LSU System sees this new fund as another way to bring research technologies developed by its faculty, staff, and students into the marketplace and provide the state with a positive economic impact. “The development of bioscience programs holds great promise in generating the kinds of discoveries that can seed business start-ups and help us all lead healthier lives,” said Dr. William J. Jenkins, President of the LSU System. “LSU is capitalizing the intellectual power of its faculty and students, transferring knowledge from the Ivory Tower to the marketplace for the future of Louisiana.”

Mr. Barrett stressed that “our team has investment professionals and advisors not only in Louisiana but also in New York. As with Louisiana Ventures the focus on East Coast capital markets will help TVP, LP to be a success, but it also markets the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and the State of Louisiana to Wall Street.”

TVP is currently working with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and the LSU System to form, capitalize and begin research trials for its first investment. It is a potential breakthrough cancer treatment from PBRC, the LSU A&M campus, and the LSU AgCenter researchers. An announcement on this confidential project will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

About VCE Capital

VCE Capital Partners LLC is a Southeast-based venture capital firm that invests opportunistically. We provide equity capital to early and expansion stage companies with proprietary technology platforms or unique products addressing large markets. The partners of VCE Capital Partners manage two investment funds: Louisiana Ventures, LP and TVP, LP (Themelios Venture Partners).

Louisiana Ventures, LP is focused on venture capital and private equity opportunities. Louisiana Ventures, LP is a generalist fund as far as industry preference, and invests opportunistically in high growth equity opportunities. In contrast, TVP, LP is focused on life science opportunities from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the world’s leader in diabetes, nutrition and obesity research.

TVP will also invest in companies outside of the Pennington Center that run clinical trials or conduct research collaborations with the Center, thus, diversifying TVP’s investment mix.

Our group will also invest in traditional private equity and expansion growth deals nationwide. We have offices in Shreveport, Louisiana, New York, New Orleans and venture partners in Baton Rouge. Our group is comprised of professionals that are industry veterans with extensive experience as operational managers, securities attorneys and venture capitalists. For more information, go to http://www.vcecapital.com

About Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Funded with an initial gift of $125mm from oilman C.B. “Doc” Pennington, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Baton Rouge Louisiana, a division of the LSU System, now houses 14 research laboratories, 17 core service laboratories, inpatient and outpatient clinics, a research kitchen, an administrative area, and more than $20 million in technologically advanced equipment.

The Center was expanded in 1993 to include the C.B. Pennington Jr. Conference Center, residence apartments, and an exercise and fitness facility.

More than 70 faculty members and over 600 physicians, scientists, and support personnel focus their research efforts on six key areas: Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome, Experimental Obesity, Functional Foods, Nutrition and Chronic Diseases, Health and Performance Enhancement, and Nutrition and the Brain.

The Pennington Center is led by Dr. Claude Bouchard, formerly of the Université Laval in Canada, who specializes in studies of the genetic and molecular basis of obesity.

The Center's funding is broad-based. The foundation is provided by an annual appropriation from the State of Louisiana. Additional funding is provided by grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Defense, and private sector organizations and companies.

Note:

Themelios: :them-el'-ee-os: from a derivative of the New Testament Greek Word tithemi; something put down, i.e. a substruction (of a building, etc.), foundation.

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