Pharmaceutical Company becomes Minority Shareholder of Biotechnology Firm Oryzon Genomics

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Oryzon hopes Ferrer can help lever biotechnology into the pharmaceutical industry.

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Oryzon Genomics (http://www.oryzon.com)], a gene discovery company, announces that Ferrer is now a minority shareholder. Oryzon hopes to lever biotechnology into the pharmaceutical industry with the agreement.

This operation is included in Oryzon’s strategic plan for the next years, which comprises several measures to rapidly increase the growth potential of Oryzon and boost its future launch into the market. The agreement, closed at the end of 2005, was finally implemented in summer 2006 for corporative reasons. The starting price implies a revaluation of more than 500% compared to the value of the company in 2003, when Najeti, a French risk capital company, bought 35% of Oryzon.

Most of the resources acquired will be to speed up its internal and co-development R&D programmes that include programmes devoted to the development of early detection systems in oncological and neurological diseases. The more advanced one: Non invasive detection of Alzheimer’s disease in preclinical stages is expected to completion in one year. In addition the funds will be partially devoted to fund a new R+D laboratory at the Parc Cientific de Barcelona (PCB, Barcelona Science Park), in a new building that is scheduled for completion mid 2007. This new biotechnology lab will allow the company to double the size of its present facilities till more than 700sqm of internal labs plus wide access to the general facilities of the PCB and will house a team of more than 60 scientists in the next three years.

Carlos Buesa, C.E.O. of Oryzon said, “The agreement involves a valuation that gives a fair reflection of the added value of our company and its potential for growth. The addition of an industrial partner is framed in the Oryzon’s strategic collaboration programme with the pharmaceutical industry, started last year when we launched, together with FERRER, the ONCNOSIS consortium, one of the more ambitious R&D private programs in oncology ever launched in Spain. The presence of the Grupo FERRER as a minority shareholder reflects confidence in the levering potential of the biotech sector for the pharmaceutical industry. Furthermore, it reflects our wish to strengthen relations with FERRER but without losing our independence and maintaining our intention to collaborate with other national and international companies in the pharmaceutical sector.”

About Oryzon Genomics

Oryzon Genomics is a gene discovery company whose mission is to identify new genes and proteins to design and develop biotechnological products that improve people’s health for the pharmaceutical industry. The company focuses its activities in Biomedicine in the oncological and neurological diseases. Born in 2000 as a spin-off of the University of Barcelona and CSIC, the biotechnology company was venture backed in 2003 and is the paradigm of a fast growing and fast evolving company in the Spanish Biotech sector due to its leading edge technology. Its complementary platforms include Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics. Oryzon has mobilized €4M of Resources during Seed and A Funding Phase permitting the company to growth from 2 till 40 employees by end of 2006. With €4M of sales to third companies and incomes in 2006 and a workload of more than 9M€ for the next four years, the company will be in its third consecutive year on net profits. The company has entered into a strong network of corporate and academic partnerships and has 6 affiliated companies.

http://www.oryzon.com

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Carlos Buesa
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