Protagen Raises € 10.0 Million For Diagnostic Developments

Protagen Raises € 10.0 Million For Diagnostic Developments

Dortmund, Germany, September 7, 2010 / b3c newswire / - Protagen AG, a specialist for in-vitro diagnostics and GMP-compliant protein analysis announced today a second round of finance totalling a volume of € 10.0 Million. After closing a first round of € 3.7 Million in August 2009, the NRW.BANK, Düsseldorf, participated as new investor and joined the consortium of MIG Fonds, Munich, S-Capital Dortmund, S-Venture Capital Dortmund and KfW, Bonn, to finalize the actual round. Also the existing investors contributed significantly to the second closing.

The capital will be used for the targeted expansion of the business unit Diagnostics and the clinical validation of proprietary diagnostic marker proteins. Protagen will concentrate its efforts on the development of serum based molecular diagnostics for the early detection of Multiple Sclerosis and the differential diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. In addition, the UNIarray® technology platform will be applied in other attractive indications for the development of serum based molecular diagnostics.

"This new financing round will allow us the completion of our current development programs until market launch and to evolve to a preferred partner for out-licensing opportunities within the diagnostic industry", states Dr. Stefan Müllner, CEO, Protagen AG.

"Within the last years, Protagen achieved an international leading position in the field of novel serum based molecular diagnostics. In its second business unit Protein Services, Protagen belongs to the worldwide leading companies. Therefore, NRW.BANK is excited to accompany the successful way of Dortmund's first biotech company", explains Dr. Aristotelis Nastos, Senior Investment Manager at NRW.BANK and new Member of the Supervisory Board of Protagen.

Background: UNIarray® is a unique technology platform for the development of novel diagnostics based on indication specific autoantibody patterns in patient sera. These indication specific autoantibody patterns were already proven to be present in several autoimmune diseases, but also in cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and even in apparently healthy individuals. Therefore, the systematic and indication specific determination of autoantibody patterns will serve as a unique basis to address hitherto unmet diagnostic needs. In addition, UNIarray® serves as platform for the development of product specific companion diagnostics and patient stratification tools for clinical studies.

In-house research at Protagen is presently focused on novel diagnostics for Prostate, Breast, Ovarian, Colon, Pancreas Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Morbus Parkinson, and Alzheimer's.

About Protagen AG -
Protagen AG is an international leading specialist in the fields of in-vitro diagnostics and GMP-compliant protein analysis. The innovations of Protagen are UNIarray®, a technology platform for the development of novel serum based diagnostics, as well as UNIchip®, a versatile product family of protein microarrays for faster development of antibodies.

NRW.BANK is the state development bank of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Its mission is to support its owners - the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as the Regional Associations of Westphalia-Lippe and the Rhineland - in the completion of important structural policy tasks. Headquartered in Düsseldorf and in Münster, the Bank supports the regional economy, the municipalities and the people of NRW. For this purpose, NRW.BANK offers the full range of credit products from the development programmes of the state, the federal government and the EU to equity and debt financing alternatives.

For business start-ups and SMEs in North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW.BANK uses customised public promotion and equity finance products. The Bank aims to constantly improve the financing situation of this target group in line with actual requirements. For this purpose NRW.BANK has aligned its equity capital products with companies' lifecycles and their resulting requirements.