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Venture capital firms sell Proteolix to Onyx Pharmaceuticals

A group of venture capital firms has completed the sale of its stakes in Proteolix, a biopharmaceutical company, to Onyx Pharmaceuticals.

The group is comprised of Nomura Phase4 Ventures, Westfield Capital Management, Advanced Technology Ventures, Delphi Ventures, Latterell Venture Partners, US Venture Partners and The Vertical Group .

Onyx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing therapies that target the molecular mechanisms that cause cancer.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Onyx will pay USD276m in cash upon the closing. In addition, Onyx will pay USD40mi in 2010 based on the achievement of a development milestone and up to USD535m contingent upon the achievement of anticipated approvals for carfilzomib in the US and Europe.

Of the potential USD535m, a payment of USD170m is based upon the achievement of accelerated US Food and Drug Administration approval.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The acquisition will leverage Onyx’s expertise in developing and commercialising Nexavar and provides strategic expansion into the hematological malignancies market. The transaction will provide Onyx a next-generation product candidate for multiple myeloma.

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