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Optherion, Inc. Completes $37 Million Start Up Financing
Date:10/9/2007

alternative complement pathway -- to AMD. It was found that approximately 50% of patients with AMD suffered from variations in the CFH gene; 74% of the disease could be explained by variations in the CFH and CFB genes combined. Genetic variations on Chromosome 10 have also been implicated in AMD, and are additionally a focus of the company for therapeutic and diagnostic products.

The company's intellectual property estate is based on discoveries at the University of Iowa by Dr. Gregory Hageman and at Yale University and Rockefeller University by Dr. Josephine Hoh as well as work by investigators at other universities.

Among the sources of capital for the financing are: Quaker BioVentures, Philadelphia; Domain Associates, Princeton, NJ and San Diego; Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, New Brunswick, NJ; Purdue Pharmaceutical Products L.P., Stamford, CT; Pappas Ventures, Research Triangle Park, NC; Biogen Idec New Ventures, Cambridge, MA, and GE Healthcare Financial Services, Chicago, IL. Colin J. Foster, Optherion's President and CEO, said: "We are gratified by the high quality of investors participating in the Series A financing. We are embarking on a program that exploits a new and exciting area of research with breakthrough potential in areas of high unmet medical need, with a primary focus on preventing blindness among those with dry AMD." Mr. Foster is the former CEO of Bayer Pharmaceuticals in the U.S. and Region Head for Bayer Pharmaceuticals in North America.

Optherion's Chief Scientific Officer is Dr. Hageman, the scientific founder of Optherion and a co-discoverer of the relationship of the genetics of CFH and CFB to AMD and MPGN-II. He is the Iowa Entrepreneurial Endowed Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Iowa and a pioneer in the role of inflammation and the complement system in AMD. Dr. Hageman is the Principal Investigator of a recently awarded five-year, $14.6 million grant f
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SOURCE Optherion, Inc.
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