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Auspex Raises $35 Million And Appoints Industry Veteran Gerald Proehl To Its Board of Directors

LA JOLLA, Calif., Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Phase 3 clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel medicines for the treatment of orphan diseases, today announced the completion of two separate financings totaling $35 million and appointment of a new Board member:

  • $20 million Series E equity financing led by Deerfield Management Company and supported by existing investors, Thomas, McNerney and Partners, CMEA Capital, Panorama Capital, BioMed Ventures and Costa Verde Capital; and
  • $15 million, four-year venture loan from Oxford Finance LLC.

"These financings strengthen the balance sheet as we advance SD-809, our lead program, in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of chorea associated with Huntington's disease," said Pratik Shah, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Auspex. "We believe Auspex is in a strong financial and strategic position to continue developing and seeking to commercialize novel medicines for the treatment of orphan diseases."

"We have been impressed by the quality of the management team, the potential of the SD-809 program for the treatment of hyperkinetic movement disorders and the promise of the deuterium chemistry platform," said Jonathan Leff, Partner at Deerfield Management and Chairman of the Deerfield Institute. "We are pleased to be supporting Auspex as it advances development of SD-809 and other compounds in its pipeline of deuterium-substituted analogues of clinically validated drugs," added William Slattery, Partner at Deerfield Management.

The company also announced the addition of Gerald Proehl, former President and CEO of Santarus, Inc., as a member of the company's Board of Directors. Mr. Proehl will serve on the Board in place of David Collier, who is stepping down from the Board.

"We welcome Gerry to the Board of Directors. We believe his management, operational and marketing experience will be valuable as we continue to grow the company and advance our pipeline," said Dr. Shah.  "On behalf of Auspex and its Board of Directors, I would like to express my sincere thanks to David Collier for his important contributions to Auspex over the many years he has served on our Board. We appreciate David's and CMEA's continued support of Auspex."

Gerald Proehl was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Santarus, Inc., where he led the sale of Santarus to Salix Pharmaceuticals for $2.6 billion in December 2013. Prior to Santarus, Mr. Proehl was with Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc. for 14 years, where he served in various capacities, including Vice President of Global Marketing.  While at Hoechst, he was responsible for marketing products in multiple therapeutic areas, including the central nervous system. Mr. Proehl holds a B.S. in education from the State University of New York at Cortland, an M.A. in exercise physiology from Wake Forest University, and an M.B.A. from Rockhurst College.

About Auspex Pharmaceuticals
Auspex Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines for the treatment of orphan diseases. Auspex's pipeline includes product candidates to address unmet medical needs in hyperkinetic movement disorders, such as chorea associated with Huntington's disease, tardive dyskinesia and Tourette syndrome, as well as other orphan indications. Auspex's lead product candidate, SD-809, is in a Phase 3 registration clinical trial for the treatment of chorea (abnormal involuntary movements) associated with Huntington's disease. Auspex has employed its deuterium chemistry approach to optimize other deuterium-containing compounds in its portfolio that are at various stages of development. For further information, please visit the company's website

SOURCE Auspex Pharmaceuticals
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