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3i backed elbion AG completes 25m series A financing

Dresden, Germany - elbion AG (elbion), announced today that it has secured a € 25 million first round of venture capital financing. The private placement was co-led by 3i (Munich, Germany), Burrill & Company (San Francisco, USA) and DVC Deutsche Venture Capital (Munich, Germany).

Also participating in the round were AGF Private Equity (Paris, France), Quintiles PharmaBio Development (Durham, North Carolina, USA), BayTech Venture Capital (Munich, Germany) and Marubeni Corporation (Tokyo, Japan, and New York, USA).

 "We are delighted to have attracted an international syndicate of some of the leading investors in the life science industry to support our growth strategy" said Bernd Kastler, CEO of elbion. "This significant funding will allow accelerated development of our proprietary pre-clinical and clinical pipeline, helping us to build an exciting portfolio of anti-inflammatory and CNS drug candidates. "
New Members of the Supervisory Board - In addition to the founding members Stephen Evans-Freke, Hartmut Michel and Otto Stolberg-Stolberg, three individuals were appointed to elbion''s Supervisory Board, including (Chair) Ann F. Hanham, Ph.D., Managing Director, Burrill & Company; Klaus Stoeckemann, Ph.D., MBA, Director, 3i and Thomas Taapken, Ph.D., Partner, DVC. The Management Board includes Bernd Kastler (CEO) and Thomas Kronbach, Ph.D. (CSO).

Klaus Stoeckemann, Director, 3i stated: "This investment is an interesting example for the German Biotech Industry.  The management of elbion conducted a management buy out/spin off from Degussa''s pharmaceutical group, prior to this first round of venture capital. We have not seen many of these opportunities and liked the strong clinical development pipeline in inflammation and Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders as well as the experienced management team. elbion''s partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in the PDE4 area was further proof of elbion''s quality of work and future potential."

Ann Hanham, Managing Director, Burrill & Company stated: "Burrill & Company searches for good investment opportunities, the world over.  We are pleased to be a part of this financing.  The combination of experienced management with a strong pipeline of products made for a compelling investment thesis."

Notes to editors

About elbion AG 
Founded in 2002 as a management buy-out from Degussa''s pharmaceutical group, elbion discovers and develops small molecules against inflammatory and CNS diseases. The company has a pipeline of products in different phases of development. The lead product, AWD 12-281, is partnered with GSK and is in phase II clinical development for COPD and in phase I clinical development for atopic dermatitis. ELB139, a subunit-specific GABA(A) agonist, is in phase II clinical trials for anxiety disorders.  ELB353, is in pre-clinical development for inflammatory diseases.
Drug discovery activities are focused on PDE inhibitors, adenosine antagonists and potassium channel modulators.  The company combines its capabilities in chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology and metabolism/pharmacokinetics in a multidisciplinary project-based approach to develop products with significant commercial potential. The current strategy is to develop product candidates through clinical trials in man and then to partner them with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. 
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About 3i
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on buy-outs, growth capital and venture capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia Pacific. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. It underpins the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders. 
3i''s buy-out business concentrates on the mid and smaller buy-out markets in Europe and Asia Pacific. In the year to 31 March 2004 3i invested £492m. Our growth capital business invests in high growth companies expanding organically or through acquisition. In the year to 31 March 2004, 3i invested £313m. 3i''s venture capital business invested £174m in the year to 31 March 2004 in early stage technology companies. 
3i has bought into healthcare companies since the early 1980s.  To date, 3i has conducted over 200 investments in this sector and has successfully floated more than 40 of them on the public markets. Recently, in July 2004, 3i successfully floated one of its companies, Epigenomics, on the Frankfurt stock exchange as the first Biotech IPO in 3 years for Germany.  
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About Burrill & Company
Burrill & Company is a life sciences merchant bank focused exclusively on companies involved in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, devices, human healthcare and related medical technologies, nutraceuticals and wellness, agricultural biotechnology, and industrial biotechnology (biomaterials/bioprocesses). With over $500 million under management, Burrill''s technical and venture investing competence spans the entire spectrum of life sciences. The expertise of the firm''s investment team, strategic partners and Advisory Boards is unparalleled in depth and breadth. In addition, Burrill is a leader in life science strategic partnering, an invaluable practice to build value in portfolio companies and to accelerate their growth and development. Burrill is also the sponsor and facilitator of five leading annual industry conferences and publishes the seminal annual report on the state of the biotechnology industry. This combination of resources and capabilities has helped Burrill develop a unique and highly effective platform for finding and making outstanding life science investments.  
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About DVC
DVC Deutsche Venture Capital, a leading venture capital firm based in Munich, focuses primarily on European growth companies in the areas of information, telecommunication, semiconductor and industrial technologies as well as life sciences. In the field of life sciences DVC invests in the development of therapeutic and diagnostic products as well as in platform 
and medical technologies. DVC''s total administrated fund volume amounts to 300 million Euro. For investments in private companies, DVC invests approximately 1 - 10 million Euro as lead investor or, in the case of larger financing rounds, as co-lead investor. DVC is a "value-added" financial investor. Each sector team consists of experienced investment managers with relevant backgrounds. Since its formation in 1998, DVC has invested in approximately 70 companies. 
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