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Portola Pharmaceuticals Announces Completion of $89 Million Financing

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Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced that it has raised $89 million in a preferred stock financing. The financing round included existing investors who were joined by Temasek, an Asia investment company, and Eastern Capital Limited.

Proceeds will be used primarily to advance betrixaban, a once-daily, oral Factor Xa inhibitor, through Phase 3 clinical development and to advance development of its companion product, PRT064445, a recombinant Factor Xa inhibitor antidote designed to reverse anticoagulant activity in patients treated with Factor Xa inhibitors suffering major bleeds or requiring surgery.

Portola plans to initiate a Phase 3 betrixaban program to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) in acute medically ill patients in the first half of 2012.

"With the capital raised, Portola can independently complete a pivotal Phase 3 betrixaban trial with the potential for it to be the first oral Factor Xa inhibitor to the market for both hospital and post-discharge prevention of pulmonary embolism in acute medically ill patients," said William Lis, chief executive officer of Portola.

Lis continued, "An estimated 426,000 hospitalizations and 180,000 deaths from pulmonary embolism occur annually in G7 nations, with the majority occurring in medical patients. Portola has a unique opportunity to advance the field in a multi-billion dollar indication of more than 20 million patients globally in which current standard therapies have limitations and no drugs are approved to address the established period of risk following hospital discharge."

He added, "As a companion agent to betrixaban, our Factor Xa inhibitor antidote is a one-of-a-kind product that has the potential to significantly advance the field of anticoagulation. We are privileged to have the backing of our current and new investors so we can execute on advancing these important programs."

Last month, Portola announced a global collaboration with Biogen Idec for an oral Syk inhibitor program targeting autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen Idec is providing Portola with an upfront payment of $45 million, which includes $36 million in cash and $9 million in Portola equity.