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Kentucky Seed Capital Fund Invests in Promising Louisville Start-Up

Pradama, Inc. Is Developing New Drugs to Combat Bone Diseases

MetaCyte Business Lab LOUISVILLE - The Kentucky Seed Capital Fund announced today that it will invest $250,000 in Pradama Inc., a Louisville-based start-up pharmaceutical company.

"Pradama has all of the qualities we were searching for in potential investment opportunities," explained George Emont, managing partner of the fund. "Pradama has shown proof of concept in U of L laboratories, developed a solid business plan and early management team in partnership with MetaCyte Business Lab, and identified a vast potential market."

Pradama is a specialty pharmaceutical company led by University of Louisville pharmacology professor William M. Pierce, Jr. It is focused on the development and commercialization of products to treat bone diseases. These products include an osteoporosis therapy and an agent used to deliver drugs directly to the bone - most likely therapies for certain cancers.

"We have been conducting research to develop potential anti-osteoporosis drugs that decrease bone tissue loss and even rebuild bone for 20 years," said Pierce, Pradama CEO. "We formed Pradama along with MetaCyte more than a year ago, with whom we developed a business plan and a network of people to execute the plan.

"We look forward using the investment from the Kentucky Seed Capital Fund to prepare for clinical trials and ultimately to approval of new drug products for human use."

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 44 million adults in the U.S. had osteoporosis and low bone mass in 2002. Estimated revenues of drugs to treat osteoporosis were $8.2 billion in 2003, and are projected to reach $14.4 billion in 2008.

"Building on the inventions of world-class scientists like Dr. Pierce is how successful ventures begin," said Steve Gailar, CEO of MetaCyte. "The therapies and technologies he is developing for Pradama hold great clinical and commercial promise."

Investors in KSCF include the Commonwealth of Kentucky through Commonwealth Seed Capital, Humana Inc., the University of Louisville Foundation, Baptist Hospital Health System, Kosair Charities, James Graham Brown Foundation, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services, and several individuals.

According to Emont, the fund will invest in companies at the earliest stages of development, providing a pipeline of investment opportunities for later-stage venture investment.