Accelerator Corporation Raises Third Round of Committed Capital, Adds Additional Investor
WRF Capital Joins Other Life Science Leaders to Fund Biotech Start Ups
SEATTLE, Aug. 3 -- Accelerator Corporation announced today that it has secured more than $22.5 million of new commitments to enable Accelerator to continue to identify, evaluate, finance, and manage emerging biotechnology opportunities. This third round of committed capital is Acceleratorâ€™s largest to date, and is led by existing investors Amgen Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, and OVP Venture Partners, with participation by existing investor Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and new investor WRF Capital. This $22.5 million in commitments brings the total monies raised for Accelerator and Accelerator companies to more than $130 million since Acceleratorâ€™s inception in 2003. The Institute for Systems Biology will continue in its present role as the key scientific institutional anchor for Accelerator.
Since its formation in 2003, Accelerator has facilitated investment in and managed six early stage companies. Twoâ€“VLST Corporation and Spaltudaq Corporationâ€“have â€œgraduatedâ€ and between them raised a total of $84 million in follow-on financing. Accelerator is expecting further graduations from the first six companies over the coming year.
Accelerator expects this third round of commitments to enable investment in up to six new opportunities in the coming two to three years.
â€œWe are very pleased with the progress at Accelerator since our participation in its founding in 2003,â€ stated Dr. Leroy Hood, president of the Institute for Systems Biology. â€œISB has made significant contributions to Accelerator, with half of the first six investments based upon either ISB-based technologies or opportunities identified for Accelerator by ISB faculty. We are enthusiastic about continuing this relationship in this third round of commitments, and, in fact, beyond that in the foreseeable future.â€
â€œOVP continues to be strongly committed to investment in emerging biotechnology opportunities, particularly in the Pacific Northwest,â€ said Chad Waite, a general partner at OVP. â€œAccelerator has proven over the past four years to be the most efficient and disciplined model in existence for investing in emerging biotechnology, and its placement in Seattle makes it a net importer of capital, technology, and talent to the area.â€
â€œOur participation as a founding investor in Accelerator has been a rewarding one. We remain impressed with the opportunities that Accelerator management continues to unearth,â€ commented Dr. Steve Gillis, Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners. â€œAlong with our participation in all three rounds of Accelerator, ARCH has made considerable follow on investments in Accelerator-graduate companies: VLST and Spaltudaq. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Accelerator and with future Accelerator-funded companies.â€
â€œWRF is thrilled to become an investor at Accelerator,â€ stated Thong Le, a Managing Director of WRF Capital who has been added to the Accelerator Board of Directors. â€œWe have watched over the past four years as Accelerator has generated more than half of the emerging venture capital-backed biotechnology companies operating in Seattle. This activity fits squarely into our mission to invest in local private technology companies, so we were not only glad to participate in the Series B investment in VLST in 2006, but also to now join as a new investor in Accelerator itself.â€
About Amgen Ventures
Amgen Ventures was formed in 2004 to provide emerging biotechnology companies with resources to develop pioneering discoveries focused on human therapeutics. Amgen Ventures reflects Amgenâ€™s commitment to helping patients through cutting-edge science and its desire to transform science through innovation. As an important component of Amgenâ€™s overall outreach strategy, Amgen Ventures invests in early-stage biotechnology companies focused on discovering and developing human therapeutics. The fund offers early-stage companies access to Amgenâ€™s extensive capabilities while providing Amgen with insight into external research innovations that may pave the way for future collaborations.
About ARCH Venture Partners
ARCH Venture Partners is a premier provider of seed and early-stage venture capital for technology firms. Over the last 20 years, ARCH has co-founded or led the seed round for more than 120 new venturesâ€“with 7 funds and $1.4 billion under management. ARCH enjoys special recognition as a leader in the successful commercialization of technologies developed at academic research institutions and national laboratories. Notable biotechnology companies where ARCH was an early or founding investor are: Aviron, Illumina, Alnylam, Array Biopharma, deCode Genetics, Xenoport, Trubion Pharmaceuticals, Ikaria, GenVec, IDUN Pharmaceuticals, Neurogesx, and Caliper Life Sciences, among others. For more information on ARCH Venture Partners, please visit www.archventure.com.
About OVP Venture Partners
For over 24 years, OVP Venture Partners has led the drive into new, high-growth technology markets in the Pacific Northwest. OVPâ€™s record of 52 liquidity eventsâ€“including 22 IPOsâ€“leads the region. OVP has over $750 million in capital under management and is currently investing its seventh fund. The firm concentrates on opportunities at the intersection of technologyâ€™s next big waves and the foundational strengths native to the region. OVP has offices in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR and focuses on investments in communications, software, security, semiconductors, digital biology, and nanotechnology.
About Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE), Landlord and Developer of Choice to the Life Science IndustryÂ®, is the largest owner, cluster developer and pre-eminent first-in-class real estate investment trust focused principally on the ownership, operation, management, redevelopment, selective development and acquisition of properties containing office/laboratory space. Alexandria is the leading provider of real estate to the life science industry, and has an outstanding ten-year track record as a NYSE listed company with an approximate $5.2 billion total market capitalization (as of March 31, 2007). Alexandria provides high-quality real estate, technical infrastructure, services and capital to the broad and diverse life science sector. Client tenants include institutional (universities and independent not-for-profit institutions), pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, life science product, service, biodefense and translational medicine entities, as well as governmental agencies. Alexandriaâ€™s international operating platform is based on the principle of â€œclusteringâ€, with assets and operations strategically located in key life science hub markets.
About the Institute for Systems Biology
The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) is an internationally renowned, non-profit research institute headquartered in Seattle and dedicated to the study and application of systems biology. Founded by Leroy Hood, Alan Aderem and Ruedi Aebersold, ISB seeks to unravel the mysteries of human biology and identify strategies for predicting and preventing diseases such as cancer, diabetes and AIDS. ISBâ€™s systems approach integrates biology, computation and technological development, enabling scientists to analyze all elements in a biological system rather than one gene or protein at a time. Founded in 2000, the Institute has grown to 12 faculty and more than 200 staff members; an annual budget of more than $25 million; and an extensive network of academic and industrial partners. For more information about ISB, visit www.systemsbiology.org.
About WRF Capital
WRF Capital is the venture investment arm of the Washington Research Foundation, an independent organization founded in 1981 to support research and scholarship at Washington state research institutions. A leading early-stage investor based in Seattle, Washington, WRF Capital partners with entrepreneurs, local universities, and research institutions to develop leading technology companies. Examples of WRF Capital's life science companies include Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Amnis, Corus Pharma (acquired by Gilead Sciences), Ekos, Hyperion Therapeutics, Ikaria, Lumera (NASDAQ NM:LMRA), Omeros, Targeted Growth, Teranode, Therus, and Uptake Medical. For more information, visit www.wrfcapital.com.
About Accelerator Corporation
Accelerator Corporation, founded in 2003, is a privately held biotechnology investment and development company located in Seattle, Washington, USA. The company is building the next generation of life-enhancing biotechnology companies by providing the resources critical to accelerating the development of nascent leading-edge biotechnologies. These key resources, provided by global life science leadersâ€“Amgen Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., WRF Capital, and the Institute for Systems Biologyâ€“include committed capital from top-tier venture capital firms, state-of-the-art facilities, world-class scientific and technical expertise and support, and experienced biotechnology start-up business management and support. For more information, please go to www.acceleratorcorp.com.
Senior Associate, Operations
Jessica Strain, 206-957-7300