Syntaxin Raises GBP18 Million in New Financing

OXFORD, England, November 11, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --

- To Progress Acromegaly Programme and Maximise Potential of Targeted Secretion Inhibitor Platform

Syntaxin, a biotechnology company developing novel biopharmaceuticals to control cell secretion, announces it has successfully raised GBP18 million in new funding. New investors Lundbeckfond Ventures, Ipsen and Seventure joined existing investors Abingworth, SROne, LSP, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) and Quest, which all participated in the Series C financing. The funds will enable Syntaxin to maximise the potential of its innovative Targeted Secretion Inhibitor (TSI) technology platform, as well as progress its lead internal acromegaly programme into clinical proof of concept studies.

Syntaxin has a strategic alliance with Allergan Inc for the development of its most advanced programme, a neuronal TSI for treatment of chronic pain currently in clinical development.

Syntaxin's lead internal product is in preclinical development for acromegaly, a chronic and debilitating disease resulting from excessive secretion of growth hormone.

Syntaxin's TSI platform enables the design and development of therapeutics for treating diseases where inappropriate cell secretion is a primary cause. The TSI molecules selectively bind to targeted cells to prevent secretion, can be administered locally or systemically, and offer the potential of long duration of action from a single dose (from weeks to months). The technology platform has the potential for developing new treatments across multiple disease areas. These include CNS disorders such as neuropathic pain, endocrine disorders such as acromegaly, and certain types of cancers.

Dr Melanie Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Syntaxin, said: "This has been transformational year for Syntaxin. We have an innovative technology platform which offers enormous potential to develop new treatments for a range of diseases. This financing will enable us to progress development of our lead product to treat acromegaly and to maximise the potential of our unique technology platform in collaboration with industry partners."

Johan Kordel of Lundbeckfond Ventures, said: "Syntaxin represents an ideal investment opportunity for us and fits well with our investment strategy. The Company has an innovative technology platform, is developing a pipeline of products, and is led by an experienced team able to drive the business forward. We are delighted to invest in such an exceptional company as it enters a new stage in its growth."

Iain Wilcock, Seventure, said: "The combination of good management and a compelling scientific thesis that is generating clinical programmes makes a powerful investment case. It is an exciting time to be investing in Syntaxin and we look forward to working with Melanie and her team."

About Syntaxin (

Syntaxin discovers and develops a new class of biopharmaceuticals which treat disease through selective inhibition of cell secretory processes. It is developing cell secretion inhibitors for the treatment of a range of endocrine diseases, including acromegaly.

Syntaxin's new Executive Management, appointed in February 2010, brings a wealth of industry experience to the Company. Chief Executive Officer, Dr Melanie Lee, spent a decade in research with GlaxoSmithKline and subsequently held leadership positions at Celltech and UCB. Chief Business Officer, Dr Nigel Clark, was formerly Vice President Business Development with Vernalis and has a strong track record in building strategic alliances. Dr John Court, Chief Development Officer, was previously founder and CEO of Fulcrum Pharma, an international contract drug development business, following R&D roles at Roche and Wellcome.

Syntaxin was founded in late 2005 through a spinout of intellectual property and scientists from the Health Protection Agency, and benefits from 15 years of research in the field of bacterial toxin engineering. The company owns dominant patents and know how in the design, manufacture and use of novel cell TSI based on engineered botulinum toxins. It has established a strong IP base with over 40 granted patents covering the platform and products. It is backed by a blue chip investor base including: Abingworth, Lundbeckfond Ventures, LSP, Ipsen, JJDC, Quest, Seventure, and SR One.

Syntaxin's Targeted Secretion Inhibitors (TSI) technology platform

Syntaxin's TSI products are biological molecules synthesized in microbial cell culture, which selectively bind to their chosen targeted cells and become internalised to deliver endopeptidases into the cell's cytoplasm, preventing further vesicular secretion. A single dose provides an extended duration of action from weeks to months.