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Astellas Pharma GmbH Ridlerstraße 57 80339 München, Germany http://www.astellas.de
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Astellas Pharma GmbH

ATS acquires majority shareholding in GANYMED

(PresseBox) (Mainz, )
GANYMED Pharmaceuticals AG today announced the sale of a majority of the company shares to ATS. The shares that have been sold to ATS were formerly those GANYMED shares held by Ingro Finanz, KfW, Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg (LBBW), Nextech Venture, Varuma, VI Partners, WFT and a number of private investors from Switzerland and Germany. ATS now becomes the majority shareholder of GANYMED.

GANYMED is at the same time expanding its pipeline to include five further antibody projects in development for breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic and prostate cancers, as well as for other solid tumors with high medical need and large market potential. This is in addition to GANYMED's lead antibody, iMAB362, which will enter a clinical trial for metastatic gastro-esophageal carcinoma in Q4 2008.

"Together with ATS, GANYMED is pursuing a long-term development strategy and a substantial expansion of our antibody pipeline to include a broad portfolio of development candidates for the treatment of solid cancers", said founder and CSO Dr. Özlem Türeci.

"Over the last year we have been very impressed with GANYMED's exceptional team, who are, together with a very promising pipeline, the justification for our long-term confidence in GANYMED. We see this offer as a logical step to further expand the large developmental potential of GANYMED and set the Company upon a solid basis", commented Helmut Jeggle, spokesperson for ATS.

"We are very proud of what has been achieved with the syndicate of early investors' financial, strategic and operational support together with the GANYMED team over a period of otherwise economically difficult years", remarked Dr. Alfred Scheidegger, founding partner of Nextech Venture.

From its foundation until the start of clinical development, GANYMED has been supported by the selling investors, under the lead of Nextech Venture, through three financing rounds.

About ATS

ATS Beteiligungsverwaltung GmbH operates as a "Family Office" for the Strüngmann brothers, offering their know-how and strategic support to selected biotech companies.

About Nextech Venture

Nextech Venture Ltd. is a globally operating investment manager and advisor in the life science area, located in Zurich, Switzerland. Beside two early stage venture capital funds focusing on Europe, the Company has just launched the world's first oncology focused fund to support leading oncology companies developing cancer drugs worldwide.

The oncology fund is supported by a top-class Scientific Advisory Board of oncology experts, chaired by David M. Livingston, Deputy Director and Professor of Medicine and Genetics at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. After Agensys Inc., GANYMED is the second portfolio company of the oncology fund that has been successfully exited. Nextech Venture is substantially stepping up its investment activity in the oncology field.

Astellas Pharma GmbH

GANYMED Pharmaceuticals AG is a leading biopharmaceutical company offering smart antibody therapeutics for ideal targets in solid cancers. The Company's discovery engine is one of the most powerful integrated solutions to building an antibody cancer pipeline in the industry. This is because GANYMED has brought together arguably the strongest and most dynamic scientific team for translational medicine. With a world leading expertise in pinpointing highly specific proprietary targets, GANYMED is building a growing sustainable pipeline of antibody therapeutics targeting solid cancers with high medical need and large market potential. The Company's lead antibody is iMAB362, which will enter a clinical trial for metastatic gastro-esophageal carcinoma in Q4 2008. GANYMED also has five further antibody projects in development for breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic and prostate cancers. GANYMED is a privately held company located in Mainz, Germany. For further information please visit www.ganymed-pharmaceuticals.com.

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The publisher indicated in each case is solely responsible for the press releases above, the event or job offer displayed, and the image and sound material used (see company info when clicking on image/message title or company info right column). As a rule, the publisher is also the author of the press releases and the attached image, sound and information material. The use of information published here is generally free of charge for personal information and editorial processing. Please clarify any copyright issues with the stated publisher before further use. In case of publication, please send a specimen copy to service@pressebox.de.