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AFFiRiS AG: 1st Place in Venture Capital & Private Equity Awards for MIG Fonds and AFFiRiS

VIENNA, Austria, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- MIG Fonds and AFFiRiS AG are this year's winners of the 2009 Venture Capital & Private Equity Award competition, hosted by the industry magazine Boerse-Express and Junge Industrie. The award recognised the long-standing association between the German venture fund and the Austrian biotechnology company as well as a euro 430 million deal between AFFiRiS and GSK Biologicals.

Last Tuesday MIG Fonds and AFFiRiS AG were awarded first place in the Venture Capital and Private Equity (VC/PE) awards by the Austrian industry magazine and their co-sponsors Junge Industrie. The winners were chosen following a special selection process that combines the perspectives of the magazine's readers and selected experts, who evaluate corporate success stories from different perspectives. This year, an investment relationship that has been fruitful for both venture partners was recognised and the importance of VC financing for the start-up period of innovative businesses was thereby recognised.

Dr. Walter Schmidt, co-founder and CEO of AFFiRiS AG, commented that the VC/PE awards "have a very special significance for the capital investment market in Austria because they demonstrate the vital function of VC in the development of promising high-tech businesses. In our case, three years ago MIG Fonds started to invest a total of euro 11.5 million. Without this capital, our licensing deal with GSK Biologicals three years later would not have been possible. This deal is for up to euro 430 million in upfront and milestone payments for our Alzheimer's vaccines. MIG Fonds' decision to invest has therefore already been beneficial for everyone involved."

Based on the MIG Fonds investment, AFFiRiS AG was able to develop its AFFITOME(R) technology, which delivers innovative vaccines with very specific properties. The firm has already announced the development of candidates for therapeutic vaccines against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and atherosclerosis - in other words, against diseases that have so far seemed unsuitable for treatment by vaccination, but that represent markets worth billions. Vaccine candidates for four further undisclosed chronic diseases are currently being developed by AFFiRiS AG.

Asked about the success story of AFFiRiS AG and the current award, Andreas Höfler of Alfred Wieder AG said: "We are very proud of this award. Good investment tends to not only promote advances in technology, but also to promote individuals and aims that are as visionary as they are clear. Our MIG fund managers also pay particular attention to ensuring that the target markets of our potential investees are of a sufficient size, and that the businesses we finance have the potential to become international market leaders. We recognised this potential in AFFiRiS three years ago - the first big pharma deal and the current award confirm our initial analysis."

About AFFiRiS AG (as at June 2009)

AFFiRiS AG develops customised peptide-based vaccines based on its own patents. These are used to treat Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, Parkinson's disease and other diseases that urgently require a medical solution and that have considerable market potential. Alzheimer's disease is currently the principal indication and two potential products are in the final stages of clinical phase I studies. In October 2008, the company succeeded in gaining GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals as its licensing partner for the Alzheimer's vaccine. The contract anticipates milestone-dependent payments of up to euro 430 million. AFFiRiS currently employs 50 highly qualified staff and recently added an additional 1,100 sqm to its premises at the St. Marx campus in Vienna, Austria (

    Contact at AFFiRiS AG:

    Agnes Meyer
    Karl-Farkas-Gasse 22
    1030 Vienna
    T +43-1-798-15-75 - 390

    Copy-editing & distribution:

    PR&D - Public Relations for Research & Education
    Campus Vienna Biocenter 2
    1030 Vienna
    T +43-1-505-70-44

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