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TPG Biotech to Fund Development of JCR Pharmaceuticals Drug Candidates.

TOKYO -- TPG Biotech and JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. of Ashiya, Japan jointly announced that they have entered into an Investment Agreement to fund the late-stage clinical development of two promising drug candidates for JCR, JR-013 and Growject[R]. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

JR-013 is a recombinant human erythropoietin for the treatment of renal anemia in dialysis patients. The drug was originated by JCR and is currently undergoing Phase II/III clinical studies in Japan. JR-013 is manufactured using JCR's proprietary technology which is highly efficient and is safe from animal-source pathogens such as BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or "mad cow disease").

Growject[R] is currently approved and marketed in Japan to treat short stature in children with growth hormone deficiency and Turner's Syndrome. JCR is extending Growject[R] use to treat Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency (AGHD). Clinical studies for AGHD have been completed and application for an approval of such extended use has been filed with the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Under the terms of the Investment Agreement, TPG Biotech will fund the development of the drugs, and in return will receive milestone payments, royalties and warrants to purchase JCR's common stock.

"We are pleased that the consummation of this Agreement shows how highly TPG Biotech values JCR's pharmaceutical products under development and manufacturing technology. We welcome the investment by TPG Biotech. Their support will allow us to produce these needed drugs quickly and efficiently and bring them to market," said Mr. Shin Ashida, Chairman and CEO of JCR.

Geoffrey Duyk, MD, PhD, a partner at TPG Biotech, said, "We are intrigued by JCR's proprietary manufacturing technology that allows efficient production of therapeutic proteins while avoiding any risk of BSE. We anticipate that these products will become successful in Japan and then prove viable in additional markets worldwide."

"We are impressed with JCR's manufacturing quality as well as the strength and depth of its management team," added Eran Nadav, PhD, a member of the TPG Biotech team.

About JCR Pharmaceuticals

JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. is a fully integrated company engaged in the research, development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products. Under JCR's corporate philosophy of "contributing to people's healthcare through pharmaceutical products," the company has developed recombinant proteins and cell culturing technologies. The company is headquartered in Ashiya, Japan, and has 214 employees.

About TPG Biotechnology

TPG Biotech is part of the venture capital investment platform of TPG, the global private investment firm. With more than $500 million under management, TPG Biotech targets investments in life science, biotechnology, renewables and medical technology companies. The firm is backed by the resources of TPG, with more than $35 billion of assets under management.

About TPG

TPG is one of the world's leading private investment firms with a history of investments in the healthcare field (Axcan Pharma, Biomet, Fenwal, Iasis, Parkway, Quintiles Transnational) and in global companies across a range of industries (Bally, Burger King, Ducati Motorcycles, Lenovo, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) and Neiman Marcus). In Japan, TPG is expanding its footprint after purchasing stakes in toy maker TOMY in March 2007 and the financial firm NIS Group in February 2008. Please visit www.tpg.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Article Type:Clinical report
Date:Mar 12, 2008
Words:529
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