Synco Bio to manufacture Versartis type 2 diabetes drug candidate

SynCo Bio Partners, a Netherlands based biopharmaceutical contract manufacturer, and Versartis, Inc. today announced a strategic partnership to produce Versartis' lead drug candidate VRS-859, a novel GLP-1 analog for monthly dosing to treat type 2 diabetes Under the agreement, SynCo will further develop the Versartis existing production process for VRS-859 and optimize the manufacturing process to increase yields for the forthcoming cGMP production.

VRS-859 is a recombinant fusion protein containing exenatide and XTEN(TM), a novel hydrophilic amino acid sequence that prolongs the half life of proteins and peptides. New therapeutic compounds using the XTEN technology are expected to provide enhanced stability and less frequent dosing requirements with potentially fewer patient side effects.

"Versartis selected SynCo because of its extensive pharmaceutical manufacturing experience and its ability to deliver bulk and final product for clinical trials and ultimately, for commercialization," said Jeffrey L. Cleland, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Versartis. "We expect SynCo to ensure our goal of initiating Phase 1 clinical trials for VRS-859 in the first half of 2010. SynCo will also become our preferred manufacturing partner for future Versartis products based on the XTEN technology, which have similar production processes."

Pierre Warffemius, SynCo Bio Partners Chief Executive Officer commented, "We are delighted that SynCo has been chosen to develop and manufacture Versartis' lead compound VRS-859. As Versartis looks to advance its novel product portfolio through clinical trials, we look forward to a long and successful collaboration with this exciting new company."

www.versartis.com and www.syncobiopartners.com

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