SALT LAKE CITY, March 17 Axial Biotech, Inc., a companyrevolutionizing spine care through the development of molecular diagnosticsand motion preserving technologies, announced today that it has met severalmajor scientific milestones in its development of the first genetic prognostictest for Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) and has closed a $6 milliontranche of its Series B financing. The Series B financing was led by Johnson& Johnson Development Corporation, with participation by vSpring Capital andOhio Biotech Group.
"These scientific milestones were extremely rigorous," said Kenneth Ward,M.D., the Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Axial Biotech. "Theyrequired our scientific team to analyze data from thousands of individuals andto confirm the identity of specific genetic markers that predict curveprogression in early stage AIS with an extraordinary degree of accuracy,sensitivity, and specificity."
"I am very pleased about our team's accomplishments and for the continuedsupport of our investors," said John M. Climaco, Axial Biotech's President andCEO. "For surgeons, patients, and their families, the significance of agenetic prognostic test for AIS, which can discriminate between progressiveand non-progressive cases of the disease, is difficult to overestimate. Itwill positively impact the lives of thousands of children and should provide aspringboard for the development of future scoliosis treatment options and mayinclude the use of the company's motion preserving technologies."
"Axial Biotech's achievement of these very challenging milestonesrepresents one of the largest steps in the company's efforts to bringimportant diagnostic tools to the orthopedic clinic," stated Dinesh Patel,Managing Director, vSpring Capital. "Our latest investment can be viewed as aclear vote of confidence, in the role that molecular diagnostics will play, inadvancing the treatment of spinal disorders."
Axial Biotech is the first company to pursue DNA-based predictive testsfor common spinal conditions. In addition to its groundbreaking work withAIS, Axial Biotech has also initiated clinical studies in the development ofgenetic tests for other common spinal diseases. Axial Biotech expects tolaunch its genetic prognostic test for AIS in September, 2008.
About Axial Biotech, Inc.
Axial Biotech, Inc. is a privately held, venture-backed company founded in2002 by a group of internationally recognized spine surgeons and geneticists.The company is focused on developing and commercializing DNA-basedpre-symptomatic and prognostic tests, as well as motion-preservingtechnologies, for common spinal disorders. The company's headquarters andlaboratory are located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
About Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation.
Organized in 1973, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) is theventure capital subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. JJDC makes private equityinvestments in venture funded health care companies. Portfolio companiesinclude those in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medicaldevices, diagnostics, and consumer products.
About vSpring Capital
vSpring Capital (http://www.vspring.com) is an early-stage venture capitalfirm with $350 million under management. With offices in Utah, New Mexico andColorado, vSpring invests in information technology and life science companiesthat have the potential to transform their markets and create lasting value.
About Ohio Biotech Group
Ohio Biotech Group is a group of angel investors that include some of theleading spine surgeons in the United States.
SOURCE Axial Biotech, Inc.