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ORYZON Raises $19 Million in Private Placement to Advance Therapeutic Programs

  • 4.9 million new shares issued at a price of 3.39 euros per share
  • The company is valued at $110 million
  • The new shareholders include CEO of Active Motif, a US epigenetics company, also a founder of Invitrogen
  • The Company expects to list on the Madrid Stock Exchange before year-end

BARCELONA, Spain and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Oryzon Genomics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging epigenetics to develop therapies in oncology and neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the completion of a $19 million private placement.

The proceeds will be used to advance Oryzon's two therapeutic programs, ORY-1001 and ORY-2001, and also to accelerate earlier-stage programs focused on other epigenetic targets.

Oryzon issued a total of 4.9 million new common shares at a price of 3.39 euros in the private placement led by Bank Solventis AV, which values the company at $110 million post-transaction. The new shareholders, who now control 17% of the Company's outstanding shares, include MAB-Capital Fund from Catalan Institut of Finances (ICF) and Mr. Joseph Fernandez, Chief Executive Officer of Active Motif, a U.S. firm specializing in epigenetics, who was also a founder of Invitrogen, a NASDAQ-listed biotechnology company that is now a division of Thermo Fisher Scientific, who has acquired 1% of the company in the transaction.

After this transaction, the founders of Oryzon, Carlos Buesa and Tamara Maes, together control 26.3% of the company, while Najeti Capital holds 24.6% and 15% of the shares separately at different Family Offices. Other significant previous shareholders include the Costex Family Office at 6.5% ownership, Corporation Sant Bernat SCR at 3.8% and Grupo Ferrer, the third largest Spanish pharmaceutical company, at 2.7%.

The Company will use the proceeds of the private placement to advance development of its multiple therapeutic programs. Oryzon's lead asset ORY-1001 for Acute Myeloid Leukemia ("AML") will begin patient enrollment of its Phase IIA clinical trial. Oryzon has a global strategic collaboration with ROCHE for ORY-1001 with a potential value of more than $500 million. Oryzon is also advancing its research in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and other dementias with the development of the ORY-2001 molecule. This molecule, which focuses on cognitive decline and memory loss, is expected to begin human clinical trials in early 2016.

Carlos Buesa, Oryzon's Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, "The success of this capital raise is affirmation that investors, some of them specialized in the epigenetics field, recognize the potential value in Oryzon and our lead assets. The additional resources will complement current and future milestone payments from ROCHE and allow us to move forward expeditiously with our research programs for both ORY-1001 and ORY-2001. We look forward to accelerating the growth of the Company with the support of our investors and partners."

In September, Oryzon's shareholders voted to list 100% of the shares of the company on the Madrid Stock Exchange with expectations to dual list on the NASDAQ in the future. The Company expects to list on the Madrid Stock Exchange before year-end.

About Oryzon

Founded in 2000 in Barcelona, Spain, Oryzon (www.oryzon.com) is a privately held, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company considered as the European champion in Epigenetics with one of the strongest portfolios in the field. Its LSD1 program is currently covered by 19 patent families and has rendered one compound in clinical trials and another one is anticipated to enter clinical trials in early 2016. In addition, Oryzon has ongoing programs for developing inhibitors against epigenetic targets. The company has also a strong technological platform for biomarker identification and performs biomarker and target validation for a variety of malignant and neurodegenerative diseases. Oryzon's strategy is to develop first in class compounds against novel epigenetic targets through Phase II clinical trials, at which point it is decided on a case-by-case basis to either keep the development in-house or to partner or out-license the compound for late stage development and commercialization. The opening of Oryzon's U.S. operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was announced in October 2014.

CONTACT: US Contact: The Ruth Group Lee Roth / Tram Bui (646) 536-7012/7035 lroth@theruthgroup.com tbui@theruthgroup.comSource: Oryzon