Origin receives $3.3 Million in venture funding

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Halifax: Origin BioMed, a manufacturer of over-the-counter topical drug products, has secured a $3.3 million financing, led by GrowthWorks Atlantic Venture Fund and Avrio Ventures Management Corporation as well as private individuals.

This investment will help drive the North American market expansion of Origin's leading diabetic neuropathy product Neuragen, a topical oil for fast-acting relief of diabetic foot pain. It is the company's goal to establish Neuragen as the dominant North American brand for non-prescription treatment of nerve pain.

"We are extremely pleased that GrowthWorks has invested in Origin BioMed at this key point in the company's growth. GrowthWorks brings solid management expertise in the life sciences sector and are a strong and recognized investor across Canada," said Robert Cervelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Origin BioMed. "This funding also represents Avrio Ventures' third financing commitment to our company."

"We are very pleased to add Origin BioMed to our investment portfolio," said Tom Hayes, President and CEO of GrowthWorks Atlantic Venture Fund. "We believe this company has the potential to be a leader in the life sciences industry here in Atlantic Canada, to provide significant relief to those suffering from chronic pain and to provide great returns to the shareholders of our Fund," Hayes added.

"Avrio believes that building a strong enterprise includes teaming up with the right partners at the various stages of growth. We are very excited about the opportunity to continue to enhance Origin's market position by leveraging their existing distribution channels with new product offerings," said Aki Georgacacos, partner at Avrio Ventures and Origin board member.

Neuragen targets the $4 billion worldwide neuropathic pain market. About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have mild to severe forms of nervous system damage. The results of such damage include impaired sensation or pain in the feet or hands and other nerve problems. Almost 50 percent of people with diabetes aged 40 years or older have impaired sensation in the feet. Neuragen has provided relief for over 70 percent of users in clinical trials, and is being sold in the diabetic sections of drug stores, through many health profession clinics and other retail outlets.

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