New Montana Biotechnology Company, SpeciGen Launched, Lonnie Bookbinder Selected as CEO

SpeciGen announced today the appointment of Lonnie Bookbinder, MBA, Ph.D., of Corvallis Montana, as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Bookbinder is the first CEO of SpeciGen and brings over 35 years of bio-pharmaceutical industry and executive experience to SpeciGen, an early stage drug development company.

Dr. Bookbinder commented "SpeciGen has the potential to be a market leader in the diagnostic and drug delivery segments of the bio-pharmaceutical industry. Drug delivery is a fast growing marketplace for a number of significant reasons, including improvements in the safety profile of approved drugs, improvements in drug efficacy and the demands of large pharma and biotech companies looking for innovation to supplant struggling development pipelines."

"SpeciGen uses patented, new and unique drug delivery vehicles to create and develop products for the diagnostic imaging and therapeutic marketplaces. I am very pleased to become the CEO of SpeciGen and help build the Company from its’ early beginning in the state of Montana, where we have applied for two grants to establish a manufacturing facility and accelerate research on product candidates," he said.

"We’re excited to have Lonnie join us, said Brian Campion, Ph.D., SpeciGen’s Vice President of Corporate Development. Lonnie has worked for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in Montana and across the country, so his successful track record of growing start up biotech companies, his local knowledge and national contacts will be a big factor in our success." Dr. Campion continued: "Lonnie’s leadership will drive SpeciGen forward as we seek investment from accredited investors here in Montana and in other states. Investing in SpeciGen is a way to help technology developed in Montana, stay in Montana and will allow SpeciGen to contribute to the state’s fledgling biomedical industry."

Dr. Bookbinder is a member of the Montana Ambassadors, a group of business leaders who work with Governor Brian Schweitzer’s administration on business development in Montana. "The Ambassadors are delighted to see movement toward building life sciences based businesses. Collaborative enterprises between our great universities and the private sector are an essential and vital part of building the economy of the future for Montana," commented Craig Herbert, President of the Montana Ambassadors.

Previously, Dr. Bookbinder worked as VP of Corporate Development for Ribi in Hamilton, MT, prior to it’s purchase by Corixa and a subsequent acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline. "Lonnie initiated a business and research relationship with Corixa (now GSK) and has a unique record of working as a senior officer for companies that get acquired. For example, he helped position the drug delivery company Atrix Laboratories, prior to its’ acquisition by QLT Inc. "In addition to his financial acumen, Lonnie also has breadth of technical, business development and marketing and sales expertise, so his background and experience will serve us well as we move forward with our commercial efforts," said Dr. Campion.

SpeciGen is an early stage developmental biotechnology company with a focus on drug delivery using nanotechnology. Bio-nanotechnology markets are expected to grow to over $200 billion by 2010, according to experts in the field. SpeciGen is a leader in the use of self-assembling and naturally-occuring protein cages or nanospheres for targeted drug delivery. A drug of interest can be readily incorporated inside the nanosphere and delivered to precise locations in the body where disease is present through the addition of externally attached targeting agents. SpeciGen’s targeted protein cage nanospheres are being developed with Montana State University, the Stanford School of Medicine, the National Institute of Health and other research entities located in the United States. SpeciGen has applied for several grants to facilitate the manufacturing process development as well as R&D programs. The company has offices in Palo Alto, CA and Corvallis, MT as well as a plan to initiate manufacturing in Bozeman, MT.

For additional information contact: Lonnie Bookbinder, MBA, Ph.D., CEO, SpeciGen, Inc. 100 Hamilton Ave. Suite 225 Palo Alto, CA 94301 (406) 961-1382 or email [email protected].

(Many thanks to Kerry Schaefer of the Montana Chamber of Commerce for passing this along. Russ)

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