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Investment Group to Invest up to $35M into Accelr8; New CEO Tapped

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Accelr8 today announced an investment group plans to invest up to $35 million into the company to support further development and commercialization of its BACcel platform.

In conjunction with the investment, one member of the investment group will become Accelr8's CEO.

The investment group was formed by Jack Schuler and John Patience, principals and founders of Lake Forest, Ill.-based investment firm Crabtree Partners; and Larry Mehren, most recently head of global business and chief operating officer of Roche Tissue Diagnostics.

Upon the investment's closing, anticipated to happen on or before July 1, Mehren will become CEO of Accelr8, succeeding Tom Geimer.

The investment group will purchase 14 million shares of Accelr8's common stock at $1.03 per share for an initial investment of $14.4 million. Accelr8 will also issue 7 million warrants with an exercise price of $1.03 and 7 million warrants with an exercise price of $2.

"We are enthusiastic about the potential of our company and technology, and realized we needed the right partner," Geimer said in a statement. "After a thorough and deliberate process, the board chose Crabtree due to their unique hands-on expertise in life sciences development, operations, and commercialization, as well as their unparalleled track record of creating shareholder value for the companies they invest in."

Accelr8 last month said that its fiscal second-quarter revenues fell to $8,328 from $313,568 a year ago, as an agreement with Novartis to evaluate the BACcel platform expired without Novartis renewing it.

The BACcel system is a culture-free, diagnostic platform for the identification and antibiotic resistance testing of bacterial and fungal pathogens.

David Howson, Accelr8's current president who will become the Denver firm's chief scientific officer, said that the investment and the change in leadership "will allow us to rapidly advance BACcel development and demonstrate its ability to quickly determine multi-drug resistance through the system's unique method of identification and sensitivity testing."