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Cequent Pharmaceuticals Meets Novartis Option Fund Milestone; Continues to Next Phase to Validate Inflammatory Bowel Disease Targets in Vivo
Date:9/15/2008

investor and partner."

About Cequent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (http://www.cequentpharma.com)

An early-stage biopharmaceutical company, Cequent is pioneering the development of novel therapeutics to prevent and treat a wide range of human diseases -- from inflammatory diseases to cancer -- based on the company's proprietary technology, TransKingdom RNA interference (tkRNAi). Cequent's first products, now in pre-clinical development, are drug candidates targeting colon-cancer prevention and inflammatory bowel disease. The company designed its powerful tkRNAi technology to deactivate specific disease-causing genes safely and effectively, using non-pathogenic bacteria as an engine to produce and deliver RNAi directly into cells. It is based on ground-breaking scientific research originating at The Pasteur Institute (Paris, France) and at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. A privately held company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cequent was established in 2006.

About Novartis Option Fund (http://www.venturefund.novartis.com)

The Novartis Option Fund is a $200 million fund that is part of the Novartis Corporate Venture Funds. Established in 1996, the Novartis Venture Funds currently manage over $550 million in committed capital and is invested in more than 50 private companies. The objective of the Novartis Option Fund is to seed innovative companies through initial and follow-on investment. The initial investment is coupled with an option to a specific therapeutic program providing early validation for the start-up company's technology/programs by large pharma. The Novartis Venture Funds team of nine investment professionals located in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, Massachusetts, brings together extensive expertise in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry and venture capital.


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