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Axikin Pharmaceuticals Spins out of Actimis
Date:1/22/2009

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Axikin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a startup company dedicated to developing and commercializing small molecule therapeutics for respiratory and inflammatory diseases, today announced a $3 million private placement of its Series A stock. The financing was led by Sanderling Ventures of San Mateo, California. Additional investors include Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners of New York.

Axikin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., was formed as a spin-out from Actimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (www.actimis.com) following the acquisition of Actimis' lead program by Boehringer Ingelheim in a structured buyout in June 2008. Axikin's pipeline includes an advanced pre-clinical program with multiple highly optimized small-molecule lead candidates, as well as two additional novel target research programs. These programs are expected to have broad applications across respiratory and allergic diseases including asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with, potentially, broader applications in inflammation, autoimmunity, oncology and cardiovascular disease.

"The establishment of Axikin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and the additional funding we have received to progress these assets, allows us to hit the ground running and provide significant continuity in the quest to bring our lead candidates to the clinic," said Kevin B. Bacon, Ph.D., founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Axikin, and original founder of Actimis. "Building on our excellent relationship with our prior investor partners, and retaining the same team of highly-dedicated scientists greatly facilitates our goal of filing an investigational new drug application (IND) for our lead program in the very near future."

"The investors are delighted to be backing the same proven team again in this new spin-out Company," said Peter C. M. McWilliams, Ph.D., Chairman and Acting CEO, and a Principal with Sanderling Ventures. "We feel there are some very interesting and novel technologies in the Axikin portfolio and over the next several months we will continue to rationalize and prioritize these with a view to selecting our first clinical program this year."

About Axikin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Axikin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused exclusively on the development and commercialization of small molecule therapeutics for severe respiratory, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), inflammatory dermatoses, inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Axikin was spun out from Actimis Pharmaceuticals, in June 2008. Investors include Sanderling Ventures and Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners. www.axikin.com

About Sanderling Ventures

Founded in 1979, Sanderling is among the oldest investment firms dedicated to biomedical investing. Sanderling's unique approach combines a specialized investment focus with active management and long-term commitment. Since its inception, Sanderling has supported over 40 biomedical companies from very early stages through commercial development. www.sanderling.com

About Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners

Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners (MCVP) is a New York based venture capital firm that invests primarily in life science and technology companies in North America. MCVP has created three funds totaling approximately $300 million in capital. Having offices in New York, Tokyo and Palo Alto, the firm actively seeks technology and business seeds in Japan and offers North American start-up companies value-added opportunities in Japan and Asia. www.mitsuiventures.com


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SOURCE Axikin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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