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GBP Deal of the Year Winners Emphasize Extent of Life Sciences Activity in Georgia.

ATLANTA, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Georgia Biomedical Partnership (GBP) announced six winners in four categories for the 2007 Deal of the Year awards. The deals reflect a broad range of activity, from university research to vaccine manufacturing, and demonstrate the diversity of Georgia's life sciences industry.

The Deal of the Year categories are Early Stage Financing; Strategic Transaction (Large Companies); Strategic Transaction (Small Companies); and Public Sector. Winners were selected from 11 finalists.

CardioMEMS and Metastatix won for Early Stage Financing; AtheroGenics and Solvay Pharmaceuticals, for Strategic Transaction (Large Company); GeoVax Labs, for Strategic Transaction (Small Company); and Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Medical College of Georgia, for the public sector. The winners were honored at the GBP's recent Awards Dinner at the Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel.

Metastatix, recognized for its $3.6 million Series A round, is an emerging cancer drug discovery company in Atlanta. The financing was led by H.I.G. Ventures and included the Aurora Funds, CM Capital Investments, SR One, and Medimmune Ventures. Existing investors, Georgia Venture Partners and Centrosome Ventures, along with the State of Georgia, also participated. Metastatix CEO Dr. Tony Shuker accepted the award.

CardioMEMS, recognized for its $22.6 million Series D round, is an Atlanta medical device company that applies microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology for the diagnosis, treatment and management of serious chronic diseases. Its first product is a wireless, implantable pressure monitor for human use. The financing was led by Arcapita Ventures, and included Boston Millennia Partners, Easton Capital Investment Group, Foundation Medical Partners, Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. and Medtronic. CardioMEMS has raised a total of $54 million since 2001 and employs 110 people. David Stern, Senior Vice President of Research and Development, accepted the award.

AtheroGenics, recognized for a partnership with London-based AstraZeneca that could be worth up to $1 billion, is an Alpharetta pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. The collaboration with AstraZeneca is for the global development and commercialization of AtheroGenics oral drug for treatment of atherosclerosis. AtheroGenics President and CEO Dr. Russell M. Medford accepted the award.

Solvay Pharmaceuticals was recognized for the $298 million federal grant it received for development of cell-based vaccines. The Brussels-based company, with U.S. headquarters in Marietta, Ga., was awarded a five-year contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop cell-based influenza vaccines and plan for domestic manufacturing capacity in the U.S. Dr. Stephen Bell, U.S. Project Director for Influenza, accepted the award.

GeoVax Labs was recognized for its $4.5 million reverse merger with Dauphin Technology, enabling GeoVax to become a publicly traded company. The creative financing technique provided a rapid method of raising capital for development of GeoVax's AIDS vaccine, which is in early clinical trials. Dr. Harriet L. Robinson, chair of GeoVax's Scientific Advisory Board, and Cynthia Tolman, Vice President of Regulatory and Clinical Affairs, accepted the award. Dr. Robinson is Chief of the Division of Microbiology and Immunology at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Emory University.

Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Medical College of Georgia (MCG), were recognized for a $10 million National Institutes of Health grant to create a Nanomedicine Development Center. The center will be based in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, and will be headed by Dr. Gang Bao, Georgia Tech College of Engineering Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. William S. Dynan, associate director of MCG's Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics Program and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Molecular Biology, is the associate director. Dr. Bao and Dr. Michael Gabridge, MCG's associate director of technology transfer and economic development, accepted the award.

About Georgia Biomedical Partnership

The Georgia Biomedical Partnership (GBP), founded in 1989, represents 280 pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies, universities, research institutes, government groups and other business organizations involved in the research and development of products that improve the health and quality of life of people worldwide. For more information visit http://www.gabio.org/

Media contact: Charles Craig, Georgia Biomedical Partnership, 404-920-2043; charles.craig@gabio.org

CONTACT: Media, Charles Craig of Georgia Biomedical Partnership, +1-404-920-2043, or charles.craig@gabio.org

Web site: http://www.gabio.org/
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Date:Jan 23, 2007
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