Alethia BioTherapeutics Inc.

Alethia BioTherapeutics Inc.

April 23, 2009 08:00 ET

Alethia Biotherapeutics Closes $2.2 M Financing - Proceeds to Advance Pre-Clinical Development of Lead Drug Candidates

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 23, 2009) - Alethia Biotherapeutics today announced a $2.2 M investment. This financing was led GO Capital Fund and BDC Venture Capital. Epicentre Technologies Corporation and Alethia founders, Yves Cornellier and Mario Filion, also participated in this internal round of financing.

Yves Cornellier, president and CEO stated, "We are thankful for the continuous support of GO Capital, BDC Venture Capital and Epicentre Technologies. This new investment will be used to advance the development of Alethia's portfolio of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. These funds represent the first step towards the closing of a presently evolving Series A round that will help bring our lead therapeutics into the clinic. Furthermore, this investment will allow us to further explore the potential of our programs to maximize their value for partnership opportunities."

Alethia's monoclonal antibody programs are focused in three indications where urgent medical needs exist. The Company's most advanced monoclonal antibody targets a secreted factor called clusterin, which plays an important role in tumor progression and invasion. The lead antibody in this program was found to enhance chemotherapeutic response and inhibit metastasis in animal studies. In ovarian cancer, a monoclonal antibody is being developed against an antigen, designated AB-0447, that is over-expressed in greater than 90% of ovarian tumors. Studies in cancer xenografts have revealed that this antibody significantly reduces the dispersion of ovarian tumor cells, a process that remains a major clinical challenge with current standard of care. AB-0447 was identified using Alethia's discovery and validation platform, which is one of the most sensitive discovery engines available for identifying novel disease-specific targets. This platform also yielded the Company's prioritized target in its severe bone loss program, which targets the differentiation of osteoclasts, the cells responsible for bone degradation in this disease. Monoclonal antibodies that specifically target AB-0440, a cell surface protein that is stimulated during early osteoclast differentiation, cause an inhibition of this process. Lead candidate monoclonal antibodies are currently under evaluation for animal studies that will commence soon.

About Alethia Biotherapeutics Inc.

Alethia is a Montreal-based biotechnology company that was created in 2002 aimed at discovering tissue-specific disease targets and developing monoclonal antibodies for use as focused therapeutic in areas of unmet medical needs. Through the recent signature of several strategic research partnerships, Alethia has access to monoclonal antibody generation technologies and downstream process development that contribute to quickening the development of therapeutics against the Company's most promising targets.

About BDC Venture Capital

BDC Venture Capital is a major venture capital investor in Canada, active at every stage of a company's development cycle, from seed through expansion. Its focus is on technology-based businesses with high growth potential that are positioned to become dominant players in their markets. Established in 1975, BDC Venture Capital has invested in over 400 firms to date. It currently manages some $500 million in venture capital investments in the life sciences, telecommunications, information technology, and advanced technology sectors, as well as investments in funds. Visit www.bdc.ca for more information.

About GO Capital Fund

GO Capital L.P. is a $50 million venture capital fund that invests in Quebec seed-stage technology firms in the fields of advanced technologies, information and telecommunications technologies, and life sciences. GO Capital is managed by its General Partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada.

Contact Information