Efficas Raises $3 Million in A3 Round of Financing to Accelerate Development of Proprietary Bioactives

BOULDER, Colo., Jan 04, 2005 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Efficas Inc., a biotechnology company focused on natural bioactives for health and wellness markets, announced today that it has secured $3 million in an A3 round of funding, bringing the current investment in Efficas to more than $8.5 million. The financing was led by the Bay Area Equity Fund, a San Francisco-based fund managed by J.P. Morgan, a leading global financial services firm. Also investing in the A3 round was Boston Life Science Venture Corp., the venture capital arm of the Industrial Bank of Taiwan.

Additionally, the company announced that Nancy E. Pfund, Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc., has joined the Efficas Board of Directors.

The A3 round investment funds will be used for development and commercialization of Efficas' pipeline of clinically proven nutritional bioactives and to broaden its partner infrastructure for rapid delivery of its products into the marketplace. Efficas continues to build its portfolio of nutritional bioactives and is on target with the clinical testing phase for its first product.

"We are delighted that J.P. Morgan's Bay Area Equity Fund chose to lead this round of financing for Efficas, and that Boston Life Sciences Venture Corp. also invested in us," said Mark Braman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Efficas. "This additional capital will allow us to move forward in developing and acquiring promising new bioactives that address health issues such as obesity and allergies, among others," he said.

"Efficas is at the forefront of the new, science-based nutraceuticals industry, an industry we believe is filled with promise. By raising the bar on efficacy standards for new nutritional bioactives, Efficas is building a product portfolio that will benefit both consumers and investors alike," said Nancy E. Pfund, managing director at J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.

In connection with this financing, Efficas and J.P. Morgan's Bay Area Equity Fund worked together to select Richmond and parts of Eastern Contra Costa County for carrying out the company's regulatory, clinical and safety functions.

"In so doing, Efficas is a perfect fit for the Bay Area Equity Fund, whose goal is to deliver strong financial returns while driving social and economic improvement in the San Francisco Bay Area," Pfund added. "We are excited that Efficas has chosen Contra Costa County as its Bay Area hub, and we look forward to helping the company grow its presence here as it answers the health and nutritional needs of consumers all over the world."

Chester S. Ho, Ph.D., president of Boston Life Science Venture Corp., said, "Our funding in Efficas is a testimony to its rigorous approach to developing a robust pipeline of science-based proprietary bioactives. By working with leading development partners, ingredient manufacturers and large consumer package goods manufacturers, Efficas is poised to provide highly targeted products to improve the health and quality of life for humans and pets."

About Efficas, Inc.

Based in Boulder, Colo., Efficas is a biotechnology company that discovers, develops and markets a line of proprietary nutritional bioactives with clinically proven efficacy for the management of human and animal health. Together with its strategic partners, Efficas will provide the health and wellness markets with exclusive science-based bioactives for specialized medical foods, functional foods, dietary supplements, personal care and pet nutrition products. Information about the company is available at http://www.Efficas.com.

About the Bay Area Equity Fund, managed by J.P. Morgan

The Bay Area Equity Fund is a double-bottom line fund whose goal is to deliver market-rate venture capital returns to investors while generating significant social returns to the communities around its portfolio companies. The Fund invests in the economic strengths of the Bay Area, focusing on growth companies in the technology, healthcare and consumer goods and services sectors. The Fund makes investments primarily in private, mid-to-late stage companies located in or near low-to-moderate income neighborhoods of the 10-county Bay Area.

About Boston Life Science Venture Corp.

Boston Life Science Venture Corp. is the venture capital arm of the Industrial Bank of Taiwan. Boston Life Science invests in life science companies in the areas of pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals, enabling technologies, medical technologies and healthcare services seeking seed to late-stage financing. Boston Life Science Venture Corp. also helps life science companies bridge into Asian Pacific markets with the financial services and support of the Industrial Bank of Taiwan. Information on The Industrial Bank of Taiwan can be found at http://www.ibt.com.tw.

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