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August 04, 2004

Avera Pharmaceuticals Raises $48 Million in Series C Venture Financing

Avera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical development company focused on medicines for psychiatric and neurologic illnesses, today announced that the company has raised $48 million in a Series C private venture financing. The financing was led by the Perseus-Soros BioPharmaceutical Fund (\"PSBF\") with significant participation by Schroder Ventures Life Sciences. Additional new investors included Aberdare Ventures, BioAsia Investments, H.I.G. Ventures, and Montreux Equity Partners. Previous investors Bay City Capital, BTG plc, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, InterWest Partners, St. Paul Venture Capital, and Windamere Venture Partners also participated in the round.

\"We are very pleased to have the support and backing of these leading venture capital investors whose participation in this round further validates our company’s business strategy and the value of our lead drug candidates,\" said Dr. Jeffrey F. McKelvy, President and Chief Executive Officer. \"We expect the proceeds of this financing to provide the capital necessary to achieve significant value-creating clinical milestones for each of our initial drug candidates.\" Avera is currently developing three lead compounds. These include a novel, fast-onset neuromuscular blocker for use in general anesthesia, and a member of a new class of compounds potentially useful in treating depression and anxiety, both currently in clinical development. The company’s third drug candidate, a compound with promise in other psychiatric and neurological indications, is prepared to enter clinical development.

Following the financing, Avera Pharmaceuticals also announced that Steven A. Elms, managing director at PSBF, and Lutz Giebel, Ph.D., a venture partner at Schroder Ventures, will join the Avera board of directors. Other members of the Avera board are Jeffrey F. McKelvy; Chairman Daniel Kisner, former president and CEO of Caliper Technologies Corp.; Chris Ehrlich, partner at InterWest Partners; Carl Goldfischer, managing director of Bay City Capital; and Patrick Heron, partner at Frazier Healthcare Ventures.

\"With its clinical stage product portfolio and the management expertise to both successfully guide the products through clinical development and identify additional in-licensing opportunities, Avera is well-positioned to build an attractive CNS franchise,\" said Steve Elms of PSBF. \"We look forward to working toward this goal with Avera\'s current and new investors.\"

Avera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Avera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (San Diego, CA) is a private, emerging pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel compounds in the neuroscience therapeutics arena. The Company\'s mission is to identify opportunities for therapeutic advances in the treatment of neurologic and psychiatric disorders, and to in-license and develop compounds that can meet these needs. Additional information on the Company can be found at