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AKESOgen honored in January 2015 Georgia BIO Awards

Media contact:
Maria Thacker Goethe
404-920-2042
maria.thacker@gabio.org

Georgia Bio Deals of the Year
Spotlight Financings, Acquisitions and Collaboration

ATLANTA, GA (December 19, 2014) — Georgia Bio announced its 2015 Deals of the Year for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, healthcare IT and medical device companies in three categories – private financing, acquisitions and public/private collaboration – reflecting a broad range of activity. The annual Deal of the Year awards recognize transactions by life sciences companies in Georgia such as financings, partnering agreements and government grants that are significant to the state’s industry development.

Deals of the Year are awarded to one or more companies or institutions for the most significant financial or commercial transactions closed from November 1, 2013-October 31, 2014. The recipients will receive their awards at the Georgia Bio Annual Awards Dinner January 22, 6 pm to 9 pm, at Atlanta’s Fox Theater. Now in its 17th year, the Georgia Bio annual awards dinner brings together industry leaders to advance the growth of the life sciences industry and foster strategic partnerships that can create a healthier world. Other leading companies, executives, researchers and dedicated individuals will receive Georgia Bio Awards at the dinner. Learn more and register at www.gabio.org/awards.

The recipients are: Alimera Sciences, Clearside Biomedical, St. Jude Medical/CardioMEMS, Varian Medical Systems/Velocity Medical Solutions, Immucor, and AKESOgen/ VA Million Veteran Program.

Private Financing
Alimera Sciences
Alimera was successful in raising $122.5 million during 2014 for the continued commercialization of its lead product, ILUVIEN, in 17 countries in Europe as well as a planned commercial launch in the United States in 1Q 2015. Alimera secured $37.5 million in a private placement in February followed by a $35 million venture debt facility through Hercules Technology Growth Capital in April. In addition, Alimera recently announced a $50 million equity financing in November with Deerfield Management. Alimera received FDA approval of ILUVIEN on September 26, 2014.

ILUVIEN is an intravitreal implant of fluocinolone acetonide and is the first Diabetic Macular Edema treatment to deliver 36 months of continuous, low-dose corticosteroid therapy with a single injection. DME is the major cause of vision loss in people with diabetic retinopathy. People with diabetes have a 10 percent risk of developing the condition during their lifetime and an estimated 21 million people around the globe have DME. This number will only continue to grow as the number of people with type 2 diabetes is rapidly increasing in every country. Current estimates are that there will be 1.5 times the number of diabetic patients in 20 years’ time.

Alimera Sciences, Inc. employs approximately 100 employees with offices in Alpharetta, London, Berlin, Paris,
and Lisbon. To learn more, visit www.alimerasciences.com

Clearside Biomedical
Clearside Biomedical, Inc., in September 2014, announced the closing of a $16 million Series B financing. The financing included new investor RusnanoMedInvest (RMI) and existing investors Hatteras Venture Partners, Santen Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., Mountain Group Capital and Georgia Research Alliance Venture Fund.

Headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, Clearside Biomedical is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class drug therapies to treat chronic, blinding diseases of the eye. Clearside’s product candidates focus on diseases affecting the retina and the choroid, especially diseases associated with macular edema, and are injected non-surgically into the suprachoroidal space with Clearside’s proprietary microinjector.

Clearside is using the proceeds from this financing to fund three programs. They are currently advancing two product candidates through the clinical trial process. CLS1001, for the treatment of macular edema following uveitis, is enrolling patients in a Phase 2 clinical trial and CLS1003, for the treatment of macular edema following retinal vein occlusion, has initiated patient enrollment in a Phase 2 clinical trial. Clearside also has a drug development program for the treatment of wet AMD in preclinical testing. To learn more, visit http://clearsidebio.com/

Acquisitions
St. Jude Medical and CardioMEMS
CardioMEMS, Inc., led by Founder and CEO, Jay Yadav, MD, developed the FDA approved CardioMEMS HF System which uses a miniaturized, wireless sensor to directly measure pulmonary artery pressure and transmit the information to a database remotely. Non-invasive, real-time monitoring of these pressures helps nurses and physicians monitor and intervene at the earliest stages of heart failure, so that the likelihood of hospitalization is reduced.

The CardioMEMS HF System can help healthcare providers more effectively manage medications and other forms of treatment before heart failure symptoms escalate. Clinical testing demonstrated that use of the device resulted in a decrease of hospitalization rates among heart failure patients at 6 months and 15 months by 28 percent and 37 percent, respectively.

In June of 2014, CardioMEMS was acquired by St. Jude Medical, Inc., a global medical device manufacturer dedicated to transforming the treatment of some of the world’s most expensive epidemic diseases, for more than $450 million. The acquisition was in line with St. Jude Medical’s on-going commitment to provide innovative medical device solutions that reduce the burden of complex diseases like heart failure, both on patients and healthcare systems.To learn more, visit http://www.sjm.com/cardiomems

Varian Medical Systems & Velocity Medical Solutions
Varian Medical Systems, a leading supplier of equipment and software for treating cancer with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, brachytherapy, and proton therapy, announced in April 2014 that Varian had acquired specific assets of Velocity Medical Solutions, LLC, an Atlanta-based developer of specialized software for cancer clinics.

The acquisition included software designed to access and aggregate unstructured treatment and imaging data from diverse systems to show a comprehensive view of a cancer patient’s diagnostic imaging and treatment history, regardless of where they were treated or what technology was used. By organizing patient data and making it available in one place, the Velocity software was designed to help clinicians make more informed treatment decisions. Varian continues to develop the Velocity software platform with the Velocity team in Atlanta.

The Velocity organization was founded by leading clinicians who developed innovative and powerful tools that transform unstructured data into useful clinical knowledge. The Velocity software, which at that point was already in use at over 200 cancer treatment centers worldwide, enables clinicians to easily collect, integrate, and share data from CT, PET, and MR images and diverse treatment systems for close collaboration with referring physicians and others on the care team. To learn more, visit https://www.varian.com/velocity.

Immucor Acquires Sentilus
Immucor, Inc., led by CEO William A. Hawkins III, is a global leader in transfusion and transplantation diagnostics. Headquartered in Norcross, GA, the Company completed six transactions during 2014 focused on enhancing its product offering and expanding its geographic footprint.

During May, Immucor acquired Organ-i, Inc., a privately-held company focused on developing non-invasive tests to monitor and predict organ health for transplant recipients. In October, Immucor announced a collaboration with privately held Sirona Genomics, Inc., which was spun out of the Stanford Genome Technology Center at Stanford University. As part of the collaboration Immucor will provide development funding to support the commercialization of Sirona’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing offering using next generation sequencing. Immucor retains an exclusive option to acquire the company. Both transactions strengthen Immucor’s transplantation diagnostics portfolio. Also during October, Immucor acquired privately held Sentilus, Inc., which was spun out of Duke University. This acquisition strengthens Immucor’s transfusion diagnostics portfolio with a novel, inkjet-printed antibody microarray-based technology. Additionally during 2014, Immucor also acquired its transplantation diagnostics distributors in Italy, the United Kingdom and India.

Immucor’s mission is to create a world where anyone, anywhere in need of blood or an organ gets the right blood or organ that is safe, accessible and affordable. To learn more, visit www.immucor.com.

Public/Private Collaboration
AKESOgen & VA Million Veteran Program
The US Department of Veterans Affairs Million Veteran Program is the largest genetic initiative ever undertaken in the US and its visionary genomics and genetics approach will provide new insights about how genes affect health. The goal is to improve healthcare for veterans by understanding the genetic basis of many common conditions. The data will ultimately be beneficial to the healthcare of all veterans and of the wider community. We are delighted to support the VA for this unique endeavor as we provide genetic data of the highest quality to the VA. AKESOgen is delivering over 800,000 genetic datapoints to the VA for each of the patients it provides analysis making up many terabytes of information each year. AKESOgen provides genomics services for the clinical applications and also for the research and development market, including biobanking, DNA/RNA extraction, and genetic technologies. Founded in 2010, our company services to the clinical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic, and government sectors. AKESOgen received $7.5 M for year one (out of a 5 year award). To learn more, visit www.akesogen.com.

For a list of past Georgia Bio Award recipients, click here.

Georgia Bio (www.gabio.org) is the private, non-profit association whose members include pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, medical centers, universities and research institutes, government groups and other business organizations involved in the development of life sciences related products and services.

Note to Editors: Credentialed members of the news media are invited to attend. Registration is complimentary. Please contact Maria Thacker (404-920-2042; maria.thacker@gabio.org).

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AKESOgen, Inc. Announces the Promotion of Joseph Washburn to Vice President of Operations

AKESOgen, Inc. is pleased to announce the promotion of Joseph Washburn to the position of Vice President of Operations, based in its Norcross, Atlanta office. Mr. Washburn will be responsible for ensuring lab operations that are compliant with approved corporate laboratory policies and procedures, proper financial and operational controls, quality assurance measures, and safety programs and requirements.  Joseph brings with him over 13 years of experience in directing and managing services within the DNA sequencing core: Microarray Core, Illumina NGS, IonTorrent and Pacific Bioscience RS group.  Joseph also holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan.

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AKESOgen receives State of California Licensure to offer Clinical Testing

Atlanta, GA – 2nd October, 2014— Personalized medicine and genomics company AKESOgen today announced that its CLIA-compliant laboratory has received the California Clinical Laboratory License, which will allow the company to perform its oncology testing services on patient samples from the state of California.

The Georgia based company said in a statement that it believes its cytogenomics tests for a wide spectrum of solid and liquid tumors will be of particular benefit to the state –as the test is offered as a complement to NGS clinical oncology testing.

“This endorsement by the State of California for AKESOgen provide our comprehensive oncology tests and services gives AKESOgen access to the single largest US oncology diagnostics market, and will help accelerate our commercial growth in this sector.” said Mark Bouzyk, CSO of AKESOgen.

About AKESOgen, Inc.
AKESOgen is an integrated genomics, genetics and biobanking company that services the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, clinical, academic, and government sectors for clinical trials, diagnostic clinical testing and research. Based in Atlanta USA, the company’s main focus is oncology and personalized medicine. AKESOgen’s services include providing high-throughput, biomarker profiling, cytogenetic arrays and genomics analysis utilizing different types of markers (e.g. DNA, mRNA, miRNA, and methylation) to CLIA/GLP standards. For more information, visit www.akesogen.com.

Media Contacts:

Mark Bouzyk, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer. AKESOgen, Inc. +1 770-542-0890 ext 101 (office), or mbouzyk@akesogen.com

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AKESOgen helps Toronto Police Service Solve Cold Cases

TPS recently partnered with two US partners —AKESOgen, a genomics company; and Identitas, a DNA profiling company. Neither of these companies have worked with police before, Borg says, but they say they’ll be able to do something unique with TPS’s cold case DNA evidence: create police sketches. If all goes as planned, Borg says TPS will be able to pinpoint ancestral information, hair color, eye color, and ethnicity of the people whose DNA evidence was found at murder scenes years ago.  More…

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AKESOgen, Inc. Announces the Appointment of Barbara Glazer to Director, Compliance & Clinical Trial Project Management.

AKESOgen, Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Barbara Glazer to the position of Director, Compliance & Clinical Trial Project Management. Ms. Glazer graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and has had a career as a laboratorian, building on experience in hospital and reference laboratories to move into clinical trials project management and operations management where she served for 17 years at Quintiles Laboratories. Ms. Glazer led one of the first biobanks to achieve College of American Pathologists (CAP) accreditation for biorepositories and is a member of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) and the Biospecimen Science working group. Ms. Glazer’s presentations have included Quality Management Systems shipping and logistics of biological samples, among others. Additionally, she is Chair of the Advisory Board at Atlanta Technical College Bioscience Technology.

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AKESOgen launches Clinical Oncology Molecular Cytogenomics Microarray Test

Atlanta, GA – 1st April, 2014— Personalized medicine and genomics company AKESOgen today announced that its CLIA-compliant laboratory has launched a new clinically validated cytogenomics microarray test. The test measures Copy Number Alterations (CNAs) across the genome utilizing Illumina’s CytoSNP 850K beadarray. The assay is validated across a wide spectrum of cancers e.g. solid tumors including breast, lung, brain and liquid tumors such as leukemias and lymphomas. It is also validated using a wide variety of starting materials including FFPE tissue, blood and bone marrow.

“We are delighted to launch our cytogenomic array test as it has enormous clinical utility – for prognosis and clinical work up. We believe we are the only commercial laboratory in the USA running this test on the Illumina platform utilizing FFPE tissue.” said Mark Bouzyk, CSO of AKESOgen.

About AKESOgen, Inc.
AKESOgen is an integrated genomics, genetics and biobanking company that services the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, clinical, academic, and government sectors for clinical trials, diagnostic clinical testing and research. Based in Atlanta USA, the company’s main focus is oncology and personalized medicine. AKESOgen’s services include providing high-throughput, biomarker profiling, cytogenetic arrays and genomics analysis utilizing different types of markers (e.g. DNA, mRNA, miRNA, and methylation) to CLIA/GLP standards. For more information, visit www.akesogen.com.

Media Contacts:

Mark Bouzyk, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer. AKESOgen, Inc. +1 770-542-0890 ext 101 (office), or mbouzyk@akesogen.com

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AKESOgen honored by Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce

Gwinnett Businesses Honored During

Annual New Company Reception

Partnership Gwinnett celebrates job creation, investment in County

 

(GWINNETT- METRO ATLANTA) February 21, 2014 – Partnership Gwinnett and Gwinnett Chamber Economic Development joined more than 70 business and community leaders for its annual New Company Reception last night. The event, designed to celebrate the County’s relocated or expanded businesses, recognized 16 Gwinnett companies for their growth, success, and investment in the County during 2013.

“We are proud of our proactive efforts to build and support economic development initiatives throughout the County. A result of this work is the success stories of these growing companies,” commented Gwinnett County Board of Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash, who also attended the event. “We welcome each of them to Gwinnett County and celebrate their contributions to our business community.”

Attendees included representatives from 4P Therapeutics, AKESOgen, Eagle Rock Distributing Company, Image Manufacturing Group, Lapp Group, NexxLinx, Perfetta, SolarMax, The Dennis Group, LLC, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, VetConnexx, and xpedx. The reception provided a platform for the companies to share reasons for their decision to expand within or relocate to the metro Atlanta community.

Dr. Mark Bouzyk, Chief Scientific Officer for AKESOgen, Inc., shared, “The County’s location in the center of Georgia’s Innovation Crescent, along with its close proximity to top-ranked education institutions, were deciding factors in our decision to remain and grow in the community. Our expanded Gwinnett location will allow us to develop new products, expand our capabilities, and reach new markets.” A genomics and biorepository services company, AKESOgen announced its expansion into a nearly 14,000-square-foot facility in December, and plans to add up to ten employees during 2014.

New and expanding small businesses and startup companies were also in attendance, including the 2013 Amazing Entrepreneur winner, Palmetto Grant Consulting; 2013 Amazing Entrepreneur finalist, Flairtab; and coworking support services, NEX Labs, Inc. and the Work Spot.

“The numerous resources and support services offered throughout Gwinnett County proved invaluable during the beginning stages of our business development. We are proud to be a part of a community that recognizes the important role small businesses and entrepreurs play in economic stability and success,” commented Susan Bacon, Founder and President of Palmetto Grant Consulting.

The County’s community and economic development initiative, Partnership Gwinnett, was launched in 2007 to recruit, retain, and attract business to the community. In 2013, the initiative assisted in 22 relocations or expansions, facilitating 1,594 new jobs and more than $44 million in investment for Gwinnett County.

“We are pleased to recognize the contributions of these companies to Gwinnett’s economic prosperity,” stated Randy Dellinger, Gwinnett District Manager for Jackson EMC and 2014 Partnership Gwinnett Chairman. “The Partnership Gwinnett team continually works to showcase and promote Gwinnett’s many assets to new and expanding companies, and we look forward to continued success moving into the new year.”

To learn more about the efforts of the award-winning Partnership Gwinnett initiative, please visit www.partnershipgwinnett.com.

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 About Partnership Gwinnett

Partnership Gwinnett is Gwinnett’s economic and community development initiative. Led by the Gwinnett Chamber and a host of public and private partners, the initiative targets the retention and expansion of existing Gwinnett businesses in addition to the development of new business in five key market segments: Information &Technology Solutions; Health Sciences & Services; Headquarters & Professional Services; Supply Chain Management; and Advanced Manufacturing. The ultimate goal is to promote comprehensive economic development, increase education and workforce excellence, and support community and leadership development for the entire Gwinnett community. For more information on Partnership Gwinnett, the internationally award-winning community and economic development initiative, please visit www.partnershipgwinnett.com.

Media Contact

Sasha Ugi | Sasha@gwinnettchamber.org | 678.584.2261

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AKESOgen completes 25,000 Nucleic Acid extractions in 18 months

AKESOgen completes 25,000 Nucleic Acid extractions in 18 months. “We are delighted to announce this important milestone in our DNA and RNA extraction services. During this time we have isolated, quantified and normalized DNA and RNA from sources as diverse as saliva, whole blood, buffy coat, buccal cells and paraffin embedded formalin fixed tissue for a multitude of projects. We anticipate this volume will increase in the coming months with several important projects in our pipeline.” commented Dr. Dawen Xie, Senior Director, Scientific Affairs. 

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