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GBS Portfolio Company Peplin Inc To Be Acquired by Leo Pharma for US$287.5m

03 / 09 / 2009

GBS Portfolio Company Peplin Inc To Be Acquired by Leo Pharma for US$287.5m

Acquisition further validates Australian biotech sector

Melbourne, Australia, September 3rd, 2009 - Peplin Inc (ASX:PLI), a clinical stage dermatology company, today announced a definitive agreement whereby Leo Pharma A/S (Leo), a privately-held, leading global pharmaceutical company within Dermatology and Critical Care, will, subject to shareholder approval and other closing conditions, acquire all outstanding securities of Peplin. The transaction is valued at a total of approximately US$287.5m (currently AU$348.4m) cash and represents a purchase price of US$16.99 per common share of Peplin stock or A$1.03 per Peplin CHESS Depositary Interest (CDI). As part of the acquisition, MPM Capital and GBS Ventures, two of Peplin's largest stockholders, along with Peplin directors and executive officers have agreed to vote in favour of the transaction.

Peplin's lead product candidate, PEP005 Gel is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for actinic (solar) keratosis (AK), a common pre-cancerous skin lesion, on both head and non-head locations. Peplin plans to complete Phase 3 AK clinical trials by the end of this year. Results from its first Phase 3 trial, REGION-I, were announced in May 2009. Peplin plans to file a New Drug Application in mid-2010. Peplin also has a Phase 2 clinical trial ongoing for PEP005 Gel in superficial basal cell carcinoma and preliminary data in squamous cell carcinoma and cutaneous warts.

Peplin started with founder Dr Jim Aylward at one of Australia's excellent medical research institutes - the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR). Peplin was supported by Australian federal government grants together with private funding and a listing on the ASX to develop Dr Aylward's ideas and create a new medicine. Peplin's product was tested by leading Australian clinicians in local clinical trials in skin cancer related conditions that are a major issue for many Australians.

"The Peplin-Leo transaction is a great validation of the quality of Australian biotech." said Dr Joshua Funder, partner at GBS Ventures and a Director of Peplin. "From the time of GBS' investment Peplin has consistently built value on the ASX despite the most difficult market conditions. The Leo offer represents a considerable premium to Peplin's current market capitalization. Peplin has achieved world leading value for a pre-sales dermatology company" Funder said.

"This acquisition validates our model of investing in high quality Australian life science assets, and generating superior results for our investors. We followed Peplin for a number of years, and were delighted to have the opportunity to lead the round of investment with two US venture investors in late 2008 based on excellent phase 2 clinical data. We are pleased to have the opportunity to return cash for to our investors only 20 months after opening our GBS Bioventures IV fund."

"The Peplin transaction illustrates that the Australian life science sector is coming of age. The world has long been aware of the excellent quality of Australian life science research and Australian doctors doing clinical trials. There are now more companies based on Australian technologies with products in late stage clinical development than ever before. Now Australian biotech companies and products are getting global recognition." Funder said.