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3i joins as new investor in Sweden's Carmel Pharma

3i, Europe's leading venture capital and private equity company, has signed an agreement to acquire circa 23 % of Carmel Pharma from SLS Venture. 3i will also participate in the company's present issue of new shares.

Carmel Pharma is a Swedish company manufacturing and marketing PhaSeal, a product system for the handling of toxic drugs, minimizing leakage and spread of aerosols into the work environment. Carmel Pharma has been nominated for Deloitte''s list of 500 fastest growing technology companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

PhaSeal is a well established leader in the Swedish market with its products extensively used in most national hospitals treating cancer patients with cytostatics. Carmel Pharma expanded its operations to the US in 1998, which is the company''s primary market today. Hundreds of American hospitals use the product on a routine basis and the company''s sales volumes have grown nearly 40% in the past year alone. The growth is expected to continue during the coming years, especially as the company takes control of its own sales and distribution directly in the US in 2006.

Thomas Pollare, Partner, Venture Team, 3i Nordic says: "Carmel Pharma is an exciting company in expansion phase. PhaSeal has great development opportunities and we strongly believe in Managing Director Dan Pitulia and his management team''s ability to successfully take the company to the next stage. Based on 3i''s long medtech investing experience and international network contacts and resource, we look forward to actively helping Carmel Pharma with its international expansion."

Dan Pitulia, Managing Director, Carmel Pharma, comments: 
"It is great to have 3i backing our company.  In 3i we will have a new financially strong partner with an international network and long experience on business development. Our objective is to further strengthen our world leading position through strong organic growth. "

Carmel Pharma was founded in 1994 and its main office is based in Mölndal, Sweden. A number of scientific research studies show that personnel handling cytostatics and certain antibiotics risk injury to their health, which has driven the increased interest in PhaSeal throughout the world. PhaSeal is the only end-product-handling-system today that is recommended by the US based NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and approved by the FDA (the US Food and Drug Administration). In addition to the US and Sweden, PhaSeal is in clinical use at hospitals in Europe, North America and Asia. 

Notes to editors

About 3i
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia Pacific. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business.

During 2005, 3i''s VC healthcare team has invested in Ulthera, Endosense, Triage Wireless and elbion. 2005 has also been a strong year for successful exits for 3i, with some of the businesses sold to other firms including Arakis, NeoPharma, PharMetrics, SpineNext and Arexis and IPOs for ProStrakan, Arpida, Paion, Phoqus and Ardana.

About Carmel Pharma 
Carmel Pharma develops, manufactus and markets PhaSeal©, a world leading product system for the handling of toxic drugs.

Carmel Pharma''s main office is located in Mölndal, Sweden, where also the company´s products are manufactured.  The company''s main owners are Investor and 3i.

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