Gelesis Raises $16M in First Institutional Financing; Names New Board Members

BOSTON, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Gelesis Inc., a privately held developer of novel treatments for obesity, today announced $16 million in its first institutional financing. OrbiMed Advisors led the round and existing investors participated.

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Gelesis was co-founded in 2006 by PureTech Ventures and ExoTech Bio Solutions with the participation of a group of renowned obesity experts and scientists including Dr. Stephen Woods (Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Obesity Research Center, University of Cincinnati), Dr. Lee Kaplan (Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center), Dr. James Hill (Professor of Medicine & Pediatrics, Director Center for Human Nutrition, University of Colorado Denver), Dr. Elazer Edelman (Professor of Medicine Harvard University, Director Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center), and Dr. David Feigal (Former Director, Center for Devices & Radiological Health, FDA). Gelesis is also the recipient of a $1M grant from the BIRD Foundation.

Jonathan Silverstein (Chairman) and Rishi Gupta of OrbiMed Advisors were named to Gelesis' Board of Directors; also joining the Board are Klaus Veitinger MD (former CEO of Schwarz Pharma in the US) and Chen Schor (Chief Business Officer of Epix Pharmaceuticals). The new directors will join the existing board, which includes Gelesis CEO Yishai Zohar (formerly a Partner at PureTech Ventures where he co-founded Gelesis), Ronald Cape (Partner, PureTech Ventures), and Mendy Axlerad (Co-founder and CTO, ExoTech Bio Solutions).

Dr. James Hill noted, "The process of interacting with colleagues who represent some of the leading experts in obesity research has been exciting. Obesity is a growing problem and it's gratifying to see such a novel approach to treating obesity moving forward."

About OrbiMed Advisors:

OrbiMed is the world's largest fully dedicated healthcare fund manager, with over $6 billion in assets under management. Since inception of its private equity investment activities in 1993, OrbiMed has successfully invested in over 70 companies across a wide range of therapeutic categories and stages of development.

About Queensland BioCapital Funds:

Queensland BioCapital Funds Pty Ltd (QBF) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), one of Australia's largest institutional fund managers with over $65 billion in funds under management. QBF was established in October 2002 to assist QIC in its role as trustee and manager of the fund by identifying, validating and managing investment opportunities.

About PureTech Ventures:

PureTech Ventures is a Boston-based venture creation firm specializing in translating breakthrough research from top tier academic institutions into therapies that will impact human health. PureTech's Partners include entrepreneurs and leaders from the top echelon of pharma, biotech and academia including Dr. Ronald Cape (founder, Cetus), Dr. Robert Langer (renowned MIT professor), Dr. Frank Douglas (former Chief Scientific Officer, Aventis), Dr. Bennett Shapiro (former EVP Worldwide Basic and External Research, Merck), and Dr. John Zabriskie (former CEO Pharmacia & Upjohn).

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Such forward-looking statements reflect, among other things, management's current expectations, plans and strategies, and anticipated financial results, all of which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many of these risks are beyond our ability to control or predict including the company's need for additional funds, the company's dependence on a limited number of compounds, the early state of the products the company is developing, uncertainties relating to clinical trials and regulatory reviews, competition and dependence on collaborative partners, the company's ability to avoid infringement of the patent rights of others, and the company's ability to obtain adequate patent protection and to enforce these rights. Because of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Furthermore, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Gelesis Inc. does not undertake any obligation to update or review any such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Gelesis Inc.