SYDNEY, Australia ¿ Cerylid Biosciences Ltd. in Melbourne intends to use a capital injection of A$9.9 million (US$5.3 million) to diversify away from its contract bioscreening activities and develop its own intellectual property.

Cerylid CEO Jackie Fairley said part of the funds invested in the company by the JB Were Private Equity Fund would be used to take three lead compounds into preclinical development. In addition the funds would be used by Cerylid for its own research, including bioscreening on its own behalf.

Injected into the unlisted company through a share placement, the A$9.9 million will give the JB Were fund 20 percent of Cerylid, a deal that values the whole company at A$49.5 million.

Cerylid was the bioscreening arm of the larger biotech company Amrad, but was spun out in a rationalization process two years ago, initially under the name ExGenix Corp. The company generates up to A$5 million a year from contract screening operations. In addition, it is involved in developing a database of genetic information and genealogical records for the population of the Australian state of Tasmania (the state¿s population history is similar to that of Iceland; see related story on page 1).

Fairley said that of the three lead compounds, one was for oncology and the other two were anti-inflammatories, with initial testing of the compounds showing potential efficacy against a number of diseases.

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