-- Amphion's CEO, Richard C. E. Morgan, to Join WellGen Board --
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.--March 24, 2004--WellGen, Inc., a biotechnology company using nutragenomics to develop wellness products from plants that alter the expression of genes responsible for human disease, announced today that it has received $3 million in the form of equity capital, through a private offering of preferred stock, from venture-capital investors led by Amphion Capital Partners LLC. The funding will enable WellGen to introduce its first product, currently in clinical trials, and to advance other identified compounds to the human clinical trial stage, as well as to identify additional product candidates.
WellGen's first product is based on phytochemicals found in orange peel, which inhibit colon and breast cancer in mice. Currently undergoing human clinical trials, WellGen is developing this product into nutraceutical products including a food supplement with beneficial properties, to be marketed initially to the dietary supplement and human beverage markets. Phytochemicals are compounds produced by plants that are believed to help treat or prevent human disease.
WellGen's other product candidates include phytochemicals it has identified in black tea, licorice, and cranberries, which have also demonstrated an ability to regulate genes associated with various human diseases, thereby preventing diseases from occurring.
Amphion Capital Partners will become a significant minority shareholder in WellGen, and Richard C.E. Morgan, Amphion's Chairman and CEO, will join the WellGen Board of Directors. Other significant WellGen equity investors currently include Danisco, a Danish food company, and Rutgers University, whose Center for Advanced Food Technology has been working cooperatively with WellGen and from which WellGen has licensed its patent for genetic screening.
David A. Evans, WellGen's CEO, said, "We're very pleased to have found a partner in Amphion, which has an outstanding record as an involved investor in helping to nurture promising biotechnology and healthcare companies. This round of financing will be a key contributor in enabling us to introduce our first product, and to further our research and development efforts."
Richard Morgan said, "Amphion has been very successful in targeting just a few carefully chosen situations and helping them blossom into significant businesses over time. WellGen has excellent prospects and unique proprietary assets, and is run by people with considerable experience in the biotech and food industries. We are excited to be working with them."
About Amphion Capital Partners
Amphion Capital Partners LLC, based in New York City, creates, develops and operates market-leading healthcare and technology companies in partnership with corporations, universities and others seeking to profitably commercialize intellectual property. Focusing on long-term growth and profitability, Amphion's management team has collectively created and developed more than 50 technology-driven companies in the information technology, physical and life sciences industries. In the physical and life sciences industries, these companies include Celgene, Medisense, Quidel, and SEQUUS.
WellGen, Inc., headquartered in New Brunswick, NJ, is a biotechnology company developing proprietary wellness products for the food, therapeutics, and dietary supplement markets. Its technical platform is based on screening the effect of food and related substances on the expression of genes associated with human disease.