BioImage A/S Raises $17 million in Initial Financing /

BioImage A/S, a former Novo Nordisk A/S research unit, announced today that it has begun operations as an independent company. The Company recently completed a $17 million initial venture round led by funds advised by Apax Partners, a leading international private equity firm. BioImage discovers novel pharmaceutical compounds and drug targets through the use of proprietary cell-based imaging technologies that track redistribution events in intracellular signaling pathways. The Company will commercialize pharmaceutical drug candidates generated by its internal drug discovery programs through sales and marketing collaborations with large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Novo Nordisk and BioImage have an ongoing research collaboration in the field of diabetes and Novo Nordisk retains a minority equity stake in the Company. "BioImage is the first company to discover new pharmaceuticals that modulate intracellular redistribution events using real-time visualization of signaling," stated Thomas Geimer, Apax Partners. "We believe BioImage will be able to identify valuable new intracellular targets and families of novel drug candidates." "While Novo Nordisk needs to access a broad array of state-of-the art drug discovery technologies, our tight commercial focus means we are unable to fully exploit many drug discovery tools." said Bruce Carter, Chief Scientific Officer at Novo Nordisk. "By establishing BioImage as an independent company, we are able to fully realize the commercial potential of the Company's proprietary discovery technology while retaining rights to use these valuable tools in diabetes. We welcome the founding of a significant new biotechnology company in Denmark." Ole Thastrup, BioImage's Chief Technology Officer noted, "The scientific community has confirmed that redistribution within intracellular signaling pathways plays an essential role in controlling cellular functions. We have established a strong proprietary position covering the use of intracellular redistribution in drug discovery and plan to exploit this technology in a variety of specific disease-related targets." The pharmaceutical industry now recognizes that intracellular signaling pathways constitute highly attractive targets for drug development within many major disease areas. BioImage's drug discovery strategy exploits the novel finding that highly specific movements of individual signaling components are essential for determining the tissue specificity of intracellular signaling. This finding has opened a wealth of new drug target opportunities that the Company can exploit with its direct, real-time visualization technologies applied in living cells. BioImage has established a strong proprietary position that includes 13 patents and patent applications covering fluorescent protein-based molecular probes, imaging screening technologies and specific intracellular targets. BioImage was established in 1994 as a research unit within Novo Nordisk A/S in order to provide sophisticated cell-based assays for internal drug discovery programs. The Company has already demonstrated success in profiling interactions between drug candidates and intracellular targets, and has dramatically shortened the time required for early-stage screening "hits" to reach lead candidate designation. The Company will use the proceeds of this venture round to further automate its assay technologies and to establish several internal drug discovery programs. In order to support its near-term development programs, the Company plans to double its research staff over the next twelve to eighteen months. BioImage discovers novel pharmaceutical compounds and drug targets through the use of proprietary cell-based imaging technologies that track redistribution events in intracellular signaling pathways. The Company will commercialize pharmaceutical drug candidates generated by its internal drug discovery programs through sales and marketing collaborations with large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. BioImage is the first company to discover new pharmaceuticals that modulate intracellular redistribution events using real-time visualization of signaling. The Company was established as a research unit within Novo Nordisk A/S in 1994 and became independent in 1999. Major investors and shareholders are venture funds advised by Apax Partners, Novo Nordisk A/S, The Danish Growth Fund (Vaktfonden), and KfW-BMBF- Beteiligungsprogramm fund. For further company information, visit BioImage A/S on the World Wide Web at http://www.bioimage.dk. Apax Partners, a leading international private equity investment group, pursues a balanced equity portfolio strategy investing in companies at all stages of development, from start-up to buy-out. Apax Partners focuses primarily on five industry sectors: Information Technology, Retail & Consumer Products, Telecommunications, Healthcare and Media. Apax Partners has a team of 100 private equity professionals in twelve offices across Europe, the USA (operating as Patricof & Co.), Japan (operating as Apax Globis Partners) and Israel (operating as Apax-Leumi Partners). Seventy of these professionals are based in Europe. Founded independently in the USA in 1969 and in Europe in 1972, the Firm came together in 1997. Apax Partners now manages over $5 billion on behalf of leading institutional investors around the world. Investments in the Healthcare sector include Agouron, Biocompatibles, Centocor, Chiroscience, Lexicon Genetics, PPL Therapeutics, Rademacher Group, RiboTargets, Scotia, Shield Diagnostics and Wilex. For further company information, please visit Apax Partners on the World Wide Web at http://www.apax.com. Novo Nordisk A/S is the world leader in insulin and diabetes care and also manufactures and markets a variety of other pharmaceutical products. Furthermore, the company is the world's largest producer of industrial enzymes. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 15,000 people in 61 countries and markets its products in 179 countries. Its B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen, London and Zurich. Its ADSs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NVO." For further company information, visit Novo Nordisk on the World Wide Web at http://www.novo.dk or in the US at http://www.novo-nordisk.com. ots Original Text Service: BioImage A/S Internet: http://www.newsaktuell.de Contact: Ole Thastrup or Ulrik Vejlsgaard of BioImage, Copenhagen, Denmark, (+45) 44-42-64-30 or Soren M. Christensen of Novo Nordisk, Copenhagen, Denmark, (+45) 44-42-12 07 or Mark King or Kirtland Poss of Feinstein Kean Partners, 617-577-8110 or Tom Geimer or Karen Hitschke of Apax Partners & Co., Munich, Germany, (+49) 89-99-89-09 0 Web site: http://www.novo-nordisk.com

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