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Cogentus Pharmaceuticals Completes $62.5 Million Private Financing

Funding Supports Phase 3 Program for Lead Product

MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Cogentus Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today that it has completed a private placement financing, raising $62.5 million to support the clinical development of the company's novel antiplatelet therapy CGT-2168.


The Series C financing was led by the Keffi Group, with participation from Prospect Venture Partners, Ridgeback Capital, Apothecary Capital and Pinnacle Ventures. This represents the third round of equity financing for Cogentus, which is focused on developing novel combination medicines that significantly improve upon current treatment options in major therapeutic categories.

"Our experienced team has worked diligently to advance our lead development candidate, CGT-2168, and to initiate the global phase 3 clinical trial program that will be supported by these funds," said Cogentus President and Chief Executive Officer Mark A. Goldsmith, M.D., Ph.D. "Our goal for this program is to benefit patients by providing the next generation of safer antiplatelet medicines."

In addition, Jide Zeitlin, founder of the Keffi Group and former partner and global chief operating officer of investment banking of The Goldman Sachs Group, has been named to the Cogentus Board of Directors. He joins Donald Hayden, Jr., James Tananbaum, M.D., Robert Myers and Dr. Goldsmith on the board. Mr. Zeitlin also serves on the Board of Directors of Affiliated Managers Group, Coach, Inc. and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Amherst College.

"We are very pleased to welcome Jide onto our board," Dr. Goldsmith said. "His extensive experience in health care investment banking and his commercial relationships will add significant value as the company moves forward."

Cogentus has begun establishing sites and recruiting patients for the first phase 3 clinical trial of its lead compound CGT-2168. A combination medicine pairing clopidogrel (currently marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi-Aventis as Plavix(R)) with a gastroprotectant (omeprazole) in a single pill, CGT-2168 is designed to significantly reduce the gastrointestinal side effects commonly associated with dual antiplatelet therapy.

The phase 3 clinical trials, known as COGENT-1 and COGENT-2 (Clopidogrel and the Optimization of Gastrointestinal Events Trials), are expected to enroll approximately 4,000 patients at hundreds of sites in the United States, Canada, Europe and South America.

Antiplatelet therapy is an integral part of treating patients with acute coronary syndrome and has been shown to be effective in preventing major cardiovascular events. However, treatment with antiplatelet medicines -- including aspirin, clopidogrel, or a combination of the two -- is associated with gastrointestinal bleeding, which in some cases requires hospitalization and can even result in death.

"We believe that antiplatelet medicines are crucial in the treatment of cardiovascular disease but that their risks have been under-appreciated," Dr. Goldsmith said. "CGT-2168 may prove to be the first agent to offer a significant safety advantage for the many cardiac patients who require dual antiplatelet treatment."


Cogentus Pharmaceuticals Inc., of Menlo Park, CA, is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company founded in 2006. Cogentus is committed to becoming a premier developer of innovative, fixed-dose combination prescription medicines serving unmet medical needs that drive significant commercial opportunities.

Cogentus was represented in the financing by O'Melveny & Myers LLP of Menlo Park, CA.

Plavix(R) is a registered trademark of Sanofi-Aventis.

SOURCE Cogentus Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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