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Heidelberg Innovation announces further financing of IonGate Biosciences


Heidelberg, 2007-03-30 - Heidelberg Innovation (HI) today announces the contribution of a new financing round for IonGate Biosciences GmbH. Also KfW is a partner in this new financing round. Iongate has developed a worldwide unique biosensor system for drug research with transporter-proteins. Transporters play an important role in various indications such as heart and circulation, CNS or metabolism and can hardly be characterized and be adressed as targets so far.

The aquired capital will be used for consolidation and subsequent international marketing of the platform technology. Iongate is going to introduce its new flagship product SURFE²R Workstation during the middle of the year. At the same time this financing allows to strengthen the management team with Wolfgang Lerch as second CEO with focus on marketing & sales in addition to Thiemo Gropp. “We have identified a multitude of potential customers especially in Big Pharma in the USA, who are keen on learning the new Iongate technology. For our customers this opens up the possibility to identify new drugs in important indications”, Lerch, an experienced sales executive for more than 20 years, states.

“With Wolfgang Lerch we managed to attract a very experienced manager for this company, who has already placed a lot of instruments into the life science community and has established international sales & marketing teams in different companies.This further financing enables the company - beside the improvement of the sales structure – to inaugurate an instrument service and an application support for customers”, Christoph Kronabel, managing partner of HI, declares. By entering the market, international orientation and further adjustment of the technology platform he estimates good chances for a soon and attractive rate of return.

Thiemo Gropp, so far exclusive CEO of Iongate, assesses the commitment of Lerch as a further verification of the market potential of the company. Additional he was pleased about the further financial engagement of HI: “Iongate is currently in a determining ”phase of skinning“. With HI we have got an experienced and reliable partner supporting us to go the next correct steps and to generate further value for our business company.”

IonGate Biosciences develops instruments for pharmaceutical drug screening. These instruments enable to investigate specifically electrically active membrane proteins, particularly transporters. Transporters play an important role in various indication areas as heart and circulation diseases as well as CNS- and metabolism-related disorders. Furthermore these proteins are of great relevance for the bioavailability of drugs. Up until now, no appropriate technologies have been at hand for the efficient investigation of transporters. With its specific technology Iongate now provides a solution for this gap.

Heidelberg Innovation is one of the leading venture capital investors for life sciences in Germany. Heidelberg Innovation currently manages funds amounting to about €125 million. With more than 50 person years of industrial experience and more than 30 years of experience in the venture capital field, the team has engaged in several well-known ventures exclusively in the field of life sciences.


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