November 4, 2009

SCRA?s SC Launch® Invests in First String Research, a Lowcountry Start-Up Company

SCRA Release

CHARLESTON, SC – November 4, 2009 – SC Launch is recognizing First String Research, a Lowcountry entrepreneurial start-up company, today at the Small Business Innovation Summit & Expo at Trident Technical College. First String Research is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics for scar prevention and tissue regeneration. The company will receive a $200,000 investment from SCRA's SC Launch.

"The support we've received from SC Launch even goes beyond the equity investment we've received from them," said Gautam Ghatnekar, Ph.D., FirstString President and CEO. "SC Launch has brought the right resources to the table. This investment, along with SCRA, SC Launch and additional in-state angel support, has helped us double in size over the last six months, enabling continued growth for us here in South Carolina."

"With peptide-based intellectual property licensed from the Medical University of South Carolina, FirstString is the exact archetype of how we want to support bio-related commercialization in partnership with our in-state research universities," said Bill Mahoney, SCRA CEO. "

First String Research was one of the first recipients of SBIR/STTR matching funds from the SC Launch program. SC Launch client companies have to date secured more than $71 million in follow-on venture capital and private equity funding.

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About FirstString Research

FirstString is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutics for scar prevention and tissue regeneration. FirstString is endeavoring to meet the medical need for the prevention of scarring resulting from surgeries and injuries by developing a class of compounds, which form the platform of this exciting technology.

FirstString's proprietary therapies modulate intercellular communication to significantly reduce the development of scar tissue and, at the same time, improve the body's ability to produce healthy, functional cells. The lead compound's target has shown efficacy in many tissue types including the skin, the spinal cord and internal organs.

FirstString's first commercial product will be a topical gel for the prevention of scarring. Based on the consistent and positive early results, FirstString has already received regulatory approval in Europe to enter clinical phase testing.

About SC Launch

SC Launch, an SCRA collaboration, assists entrepreneurial start-up companies with up-front counseling, seed-funding, and access to a powerful resource network. The SC Launch mission is to help generate knowledge economy jobs in South Carolina, enhance the state's quality of life and provide opportunity for all South Carolinians in the new economy.

About SCRA

SCRA is a global leader in applied research and commercialization services with offices in South Carolina, Ohio and in the Washington, D.C. area. SCRA collaborates to advance technology, providing technology-based solutions with assured outcomes on behalf of industry, government, and research universities in SC, the US and globally.

For more information, please contact:

Jill Hirsekorn
Phone 843.760.3329