Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA 'BFTP/SEP' Portfolio Company Yaupon Therapeutics Selected Best Life Sciences Start-Up at 2005 Enterprise Awards

BFTP/SEP Portfolio Companies Health Market Science and Protez Pharmaceuticals also Chosen as 'Companies to Watch' at Annual Eastern Technology Council Ceremony

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 2, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) ( today announced that its portfolio company Yaupon Therapeutics, Inc. was named Life Sciences Start-up Company of the Year at the Eastern Technology Council's 13th Annual Enterprise Awards ceremony held last night at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center.

Two other BFTP/SEP companies were honored in the Companies to Watch category: Protez Pharmaceuticals, a BFTP/SEP portfolio company, and Health Market Science, a BFTP/SEP alumni portfolio company. Another four BFTP/SEP companies were also named as finalists in other categories. All seven companies were seeded with BFTP/SEP investments to grow their enterprises.

"We are very happy that six of our portfolio and alumni companies were honored with Enterprise Awards, including the top Life Sciences Start-up Award for Yaupon Therapeutics," RoseAnn B. Rosenthal, CEO and President of BFTP/SEP said. "In providing technology-centered entrepreneurs and established businesses with the capital, knowledge and networks they need to compete successfully in the global marketplace, we are able to see the excellent results of our mission reflected in these six innovative life sciences companies to grow their firms and create jobs in the greater southeastern Pennsylvania area."

Rosenthal, who was a presenter during the ceremony, attended the event with other BFTP/SEP officials, including Roy S. Chaleff, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Regional Technology Initiatives; Susan Evatt, Vice President, Technology Commercialization Group; and Terrence H. Hicks, Vice President, Investment group. Hicks narrated a videotaped message describing and announcing nominees in the BFTP/SEP-sponsored category of Technology Startup, which was won by Ciclon Semiconductor Device.

"We (BFTP/SEP) are pleased to sponsor and support the Enterprise Awards, which are a wonderful celebration of the innovation and entrepreneurship in our region," Rosenthal said.

Yaupon Therapeutics, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company located in Radnor, is developing potentially ground-breaking treatments for conditions such as drug addiction and cancer from compounds found in plants. The most advanced product in Yaupon's pipeline, Lobeline, is being developed to help drug users hooked on methamphetamines to overcome addition. Another one of its novel drugs in clinical trials is its topical agent Clearazide(tm) now in phase II and III trials for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a difficult-to-treat skin cancer that afflicts 20,000 Americans. Clearazide, designated an orphan drug by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration for this potentially fatal condition, has shown promising activity in earlier studies.

Health Market Science, in King of Prussia, is the leading provider of scientifically engineered targeting, data integration, and advanced analytics solutions for the healthcare industry. Its unique approach for developing innovative solutions is based on the combination of breakthrough technology, deep industry expertise, and pre-built master reference files.

Discovery Labs, headquartered in Warrington, finalist for Life Sciences Company of the Year, is a biopharmaceutical company developing proprietary precision-engineered lung surfactant technology as Surfactant Replacement Therapies for respiratory diseases. Surfactants are substances that are produced naturally in the lungs and are essential to the lungs' ability to absorb oxygen and to maintain proper airflow through the respiratory system. The absence or depletion of surfactants is involved in a number of respiratory diseases.

Immunicon Corporation, also a finalist for Life Sciences Company of the Year and the first company in which BFTP/SEP made an investment, was named by Small Times magazine as the Nanotechnology IPO of the Year for 2004. The magazine also selected Immunicon's Chairman, President and CEO Edward Erickson as 2004 Small Tech Business Leader of the Year. Headquartered in Huntingdon Valley, Immunicon, a BFTP/SEP alumni company, develops and commercializes highly specialized human diagnostic products, pharmaceutical developmental tools and life science research tools using a wide range of proprietary platform technologies. The company's initial focus is the development of cell-based and molecular diagnostic products and systems for clinical use in the field of cancer.

David King was a finalist for Life Sciences CEO of the Year, and CEO of BioRexis, which uses a unique fusion technology platform to enhance the half-life, efficacy, and safety of therapeutic proteins and peptides. Located in King of Prussia, BioRexis, a BFTP/SEP alumni company, uses its protein engineering technology to develop novel, extended half-life peptide and protein drugs with superior pharmacology and antibody alternatives to replace conventional monoclonal antibodies.

Morphotek, Inc., headquartered in Exton, and finalist for Life Sciences Growth Company of the Year, is a biotechnology company focused on the generation of proprietary organisms for product discovery and development. The company has a validated and patented platform technology called morphogenics that rapidly enhances the natural process of genetic evolution within a targeted host to yield variants with novel, commercially important output traits.

Protez Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Malvern, announced recently that it has raised $15 million in second-round venture funding to support the testing and commercialization of its first drug, SMP-601, a potent injectable antibiotic with a uniquely broad spectrum of activity against both drug resistant gram-positive and many gram-negative pathogens.

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Since 1982, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania has helped grow the region through science, technology and entrepreneurship. Since its formation in 1982, BFTP/SEP has provided more than $110 million to over 1,400 regional enterprises through various funding means. Part of a statewide network in Pennsylvania, BFTP/SEP provides entrepreneurs and established businesses the capital, talent, and expertise they need to compete in the global marketplace. BFTP/SEP is a founding partner of the Nanotechnology Institute and the Mid-Atlantic Nanotechnology Alliance (MANA(r)) and is funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development.


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