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Celtic Pharma Holdings Announces Investment in Novacta Biosystems Limited
Date:7/5/2009

ST PETER PORT, Guernsey and LONDON, July 6 /PRNewswire/ --

- GBP13.1 Million Funding to Drive Novel Antibiotics Platform Addressing Areas of Major Unmet Need, Including Hospital Acquired Infections C. Difficile and MRSA

Celtic Pharma Holdings Advisors LLP ("CPHA"), the advisor to the second Celtic Pharma fund, Celtic Pharma Holdings II LP ("CP2"), today announces its investment in a majority shareholding in Novacta Biosystems Limited ("Novacta"), which is developing a portfolio of antibiotics. The total being raised is GBP13.1m ($21.6m), payable against pre-agreed milestones. As part of this investment certain existing investors are re-investing.

Novacta is a UK-based company developing novel, naturally-derived products known as 'lantibiotics' as potential drugs. Lantibiotics have potent anti-infective properties but have historically been underexploited owing to a lack of research tools, a challenge that Novacta has successfully addressed through its proprietary technology platform. The most advanced programme will enter the clinic next year to treat infections caused by Clostridium difficile ("C. difficile"). The Wellcome Trust has provided in the order of GBP4m of translational funding to Novacta since 2004 for the development of the platform technology and more recently the C. difficile programme.

New anti-infective drugs are needed to target C. difficile without depleting other beneficial bacteria in the gut and preclinical data show that Novacta's lead lantibiotics selectively kill C. difficile with less disturbance of normal gut bacteria than seen with existing drugs. C. difficile infections (CDIs) are a serious problem: the number of cases grew by 22 percent in the UK last year, accounting for twice as many deaths as MRSA.

Novacta's pipeline also includes programmes targeting other areas of unmet medical need in bacterial infection. These include novel prom
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SOURCE Celtic Pharma Holdings Advisors LLP
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