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Warburg Pincus to invest up to CAD35m in Protox

Protox Therapeutics, a developer of receptor targeted fusion proteins for the treatment of diseases of the prostate and cancer, has entered into an investment agreement with private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

Under the agreement, Warburg Pincus Private Equity X and Warburg Pincus X Partners have committed to invest up to CAD35m in Protox, comprised of an initial tranche of CAD10m and an additional tranche of CAD25m subject to the FDA granting a Special Protocol Assessment for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia prior to 30 September 2011.

An SPA is a binding written agreement with the FDA that the proposed trial protocol design, clinical endpoints and statistical analyses are acceptable to support regulatory approval.

"We are delighted to be working with Warburg Pincus, a firm with extensive experience in the sector, and a team that clearly recognises the immense commercial potential of PRX302," says Fahar Merchant, president and chief executive of Protox Therapeutics. "Warburg Pincus’ impressive track record of building substantial shareholder value, providing access to growth capital, and offering unparalleled sector specific expertise, will provide Protox with the full means to complete the BPH clinical activities required for marketing authorisation."

"We are very pleased to be able to provide the financing necessary to advance Protox’s lead product candidate into late-stage trials in BPH," says Jonathan Leff, a managing director of Warburg Pincus. "We look forward to working closely with the company’s board and partnering with the management team."

Upon closing the first tranche, Jim Miller, Alex Giaquinto and Avtar Dhillon have agreed to step down from the board and will be replaced by Leff and Nishan de Silva, a principal of Warburg Pincus, along with an independent biotech industry executive to be designated by Warburg Pincus, who will assume the chairmanship of the Protox board.

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