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SEBIO Announces Winners of Regional Deal of the Year Awards

Wednesday, November 14, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Angela King
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ATLANTA, GA (November 14, 2012) - The winners of Southeast BIO’s (SEBIO) Deal of the Year awards were announced in a ceremony held at its 14th Annual Investor Forum in Palm Beach, FL on November 1st. Companies competed in the following categories:

  • Initial Funding
  • Strategic Investment
  • Venture Capital Transaction
  • Strategic Transaction

The winners were Vascular Pharmaceuticals, Argos Therapeutics, and Pharmasset.

Jeff Clark, Managing General Partner of the Aurora Funds, was honored with the Leadership Award. This award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has made a notable contribution to the Southeast life sciences industry.

“Each year, SEBIO recognizes companies and individuals that are driving the growth of the Southeast region's life sciences industry,” said Aaron Davidson, past Chair of SEBIO and Managing Director at H.I.G. BioVentures. “SEBIO award winners are a measure of the strong companies, exciting new technologies, and mature executive leadership contributing to the development of a robust industry across the region.”

Vascular Pharmaceuticals, Inc. won the Southeast  Deal of the Year: Initial Funding award for completion of its $16 million equity financing co-led by Intersouth Partners and MPM Capital. The company was also honored with the Southeast Deal of the Year: Strategic Investment award for its deal with Janssen Biotech, announced concurrently with its Series A financing. Headquartered in Chapel Hill, NC, Vascular Pharmaceuticals is developing VPI-2690B for complications of diabetes such as diabetic nephropathy. Janssen has the exclusive right to acquire Vascular Pharmaceuticals following the completion of a planned Phase 2 clinical study of VPI-2690B.

Argos Therapeutics, Inc. won the Southeast Deal of the Year: Venture Capital Transaction award for raising a $25 million Series D financing in April to support the commencement of its Phase 3 ADAPT study in patients with newly diagnosed, metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The financing was led by Forbion Capital and included other existing investors, TVM Capital, Lumira Capital, Intersouth Partners, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Morningside Group, and Aurora Funds. Argos Therapeutics is developing fully personalized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases using its Arcelis™ technology.

Pharmasset was voted the winner of the Southeast Deal of the Year: Strategic Transaction award. Founded in Tucker, Georgia by scientists at Emory University in Atlanta, the company was acquired in January for approximately $11 billion by Gilead Sciences. The acquisition ranked as the highest-valued M&A deal ever for a clinical-stage biotech company. At the time of the transaction, Pharmasset had three clinical-stage product candidates for the treatment of chronic HCV in trials. Prior to its IPO in 2007, Pharmasset was funded by venture investors MPM Capital, TVM Capital, Burrill & Company and Lumira Capital.

Jeff Clark, the recipient of the Leadership Award, has made steady and significant contributions to the Southeast region, North Carolina, and his local Research Triangle community. In 1994, Jeff co-founded the Aurora Funds, an early-stage healthcare and information technology venture capital firm managing over $234 million in five funds. Jeff serves on the boards of several of Aurora's portfolio companies, including Cardioxyl, Cropsolution, HyperBranch Medical Technology, Metabolon, and Regado Biosciences. He is also Chairman and Co-Founder of Veritas Collaborative, a specialty behavioral health hospital for young people and Center of Excellence for the treatment of Eating Disorders.

Cindy Wang, a graduate student in the Master of Science in Finance program at the University of Florida, was presented with the Martin Tilson Travel Award, which recognizes a student in the Investor Forum host state who shows promise in the life sciences industry.

The Seventh Annual SEBIO Awards Ceremony will be held during the 2013 Southeast BIO Investor Forum on November 5-7, 2013 at the historic Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Virginia. Further details will be posted on the SEBIO website (

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