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GEN News Highlights : Mar 5, 2009

Proteon Secures $38M Financing and Option Agreement with Novartis Related to Lead Candidate

Novartis has the right to acquire Proteon if PRT-201 improves outcomes post-AVF surgery in Phase II trials.

Proteon Therapeutics obtained $38 million in financing to further development of its treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing surgery for arteriovenous fistula (AVF) creation. The company also reports inking an agreement with Novartis for this drug, PRT-201, the value of which could exceed $550 million.

Novartis has obtained an exclusive option to acquire Proteon if it successfully completes a Phase II study of PRT-201. Proteon recently reported the start of a Phase I/II trial.

Novartis also has the right to a global license under preagreed conditions. The $550 million includes the initial acquisition price plus potential regulatory milestone fees.

The $38 million series B equity financing was led by new investor MPM Capital. Additionally it includes Vectis Healthcare & Life Sciences Fund, which is also a new investor, along with existing investors, TVM Capital, Skyline Ventures, Prism VentureWorks, Intersouth Partners, and several of Proteon's original angel investors.

PRT-201 is a recombinant human elastase and has reportedly been shown to cause dilation of segments of arteries and veins following topical intraoperative application in animals.