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Accelerator Launches Fourth Biotechnology Company
Seattle –July 13, 2005 – Accelerator Corporation, a privately–held biotechnology investment and development company, today announced the formation of Homestead Clinical Corporation, the fourth company in the Accelerator portfolio. The Series A investment in Homestead was led by Accelerator investors MPM Capital, Amgen Ventures, OVP Venture Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Versant Ventures, and Alexandria Real Estate Equities.
Homestead was founded to commercialize a suite of technologies developed at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) that have broad utility in the development of novel diagnostic tools. The ISB is a world-renowned non-profit research institute whose mission is to unravel the mysteries of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and AIDS. Homestead will utilize proprietary technologies, licensed from the ISB, to develop diagnostic tools, designed to facilitate early intervention in a variety of diseases. Leveraging these technologies in combination represents a significant step toward understanding disease onset and progression.
“Fully understanding complex diseases requires systems approaches that integrate biology, technology, computation and medicine,” stated Leroy Hood, ISB president. “Applying cutting edge ideas and techniques, with tools developed at ISB, we are now able to delineate between varying states of health and disease. Identifying genes and proteins that mark the earliest stages of disease sets the stage for developing advanced diagnostics that will enable intervention early in the disease process.”
Early diagnosis would have a significant impact on survival in diseases such as cancer but the tools are not yet available to make that possible today. Homestead’s goal is to change that and to help facilitate a paradigm shift that will enable the new field of predictive and preventive medicine.
Dr. Patricia Beckmann, has been appointed as Homestead’s Chief Scientific Officer. Beckmann has an extensive background in early stage biotechnology companies, both as a scientist and a venture capitalist. She served in numerous management positions at Immunex Corporation and Amgen and was a member of the team that discovered Enbrel® (etanercept), Amgen’s leading biologic for inflammation.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of a new venture that is committed to making early diagnosis and intervention feasible,” stated Beckmann. “One major underlying motivation in my pursuit of a biomedical career is that both of my parents had cancer. I witnessed firsthand how limited their options were because of late stage diagnosis. In joining Homestead, I am coming full circle, developing exciting new tools to give patients more options and a chance for better outcomes by advancing the technologies that will enable early intervention.”
“Homestead is well-positioned to create value for patients and for investors,” said Dr. Michael Steinmetz, a general partner at MPM Capital and a member of Accelerator’s board of directors. “The technologies licensed from the ISB have the potential to transform how we diagnose and treat an array of diseases that today have significant morbidity and mortality. Additionally, Patricia Beckmann brings important business and scientific acumen to the company. Her expertise in the biotechnology industry and her passion for making a difference in the lives of patients exemplify the leadership qualities we want for companies in the Accelerator portfolio.”
As with other companies in the Accelerator portfolio, Homestead will undertake its initial research and development efforts at the Accelerator’s facility at 1616 Eastlake Avenue East in the emerging South Lake Union biotechnology hub in Seattle.
About Accelerator Corporation
Accelerator Corporation, founded in 2003, is a privately–held biotechnology investment and development company located in Seattle, Washington, USA. The company is building the next generation of life-enhancing biotechnology companies by providing the resources critical to accelerating the development of nascent leading-edge biotechnologies. These key resources, provided by global life science leaders – Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., Amgen Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, MPM Capital, OVP Venture Partners and Versant Ventures, the Institute for Systems Biology and Accelerator Corporation - include committed capital from top-tier venture capital firms, state-of-the-art facilities, world-class scientific and technical expertise and support, and experienced biotechnology start-up business management and support. For more information, please go to: www.acceleratorcorp.com.