Indian company gets 6.5 million USD IFC funding to promote contract research in bioinformatics and genetics industry

Hyderabad, November 15, 2006 – Ocimum Biosolutions today announced that International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will invest USD 6.5 million of equity, for a minority stake, and debt in the Company. Funds raised from this transaction will be used for financing both organic as well as inorganic growth of the Company.

Says Ms. Anuradha Acharya, Founder & CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions, “We are very happy to have IFC as our partner for growth. These are exciting times for Ocimum and to have IFC as an investor in the company brings a lot of confidence in our clients and partners.”

Iyad Malas, IFC’s Director for South Asia, said, “IFC’s support to Ocimum will provide the company its much needed growth capital to establish an internationally competitive contract research outsourcing company and promote the discovery of new drugs at lower costs. We will also help institute improved corporate governance standards.”

This is Ocimum’s first round of fund raising from private equity investors. The Company is contemplating another round of fund raising in the next 18-24 months.

Recently, Ocimum acquired a Europe based oligo manufacturer. The Company is also scouting for more targets in the European market.

Avendus Advisors was the sole financial advisor to Ocimum for the deal. Commenting on the transaction, Shiraz Bugwadia, A.V.P., Avendus Advisors “Ocimum is one of the few Indian players within the BioIT and micro arrays space to have scaled up successfully over the last couple of years. Ocimum has also been successful at using the inorganic route to scale rapidly by acquiring niche good quality companies in Europe such as MWG Biotech’s division and now a Netherlands based oligos manufacturer.”

About Ocimum Biosolutions:

Ocimum Biosolutions is a life sciences R&D enabling company with three main focus areas, BioIT, Microarrays and Contract research services. The US operations of the Company focuses on custom contract research services in the molecular biology area while the Indian operations provide BioIT services and leverage on India’s low cost advantage in IT space. The Company enjoys a strong brand image in the market and has worked with some of the best research organizations in the world like IIT Kharagpur, National Research Council of Canada, Agriculture and Agri Foods, NIH, Dow Agro Sciences, etc.

Ocimum has adopted an inorganic strategy to ramp up the business fast and has demonstrated its capability to execute this strategy in the past. As a part of its strategy, Ocimum acquired a division of MWG Biotech, Germany in 2005. The Company has received a host of awards and recognitions. The Company has recently received the IT Innovation award by NASSCOM, presented by H.E. the President of India. Also, Red Herring magazine picked Ocimum as one of the eight companies to watch in India and was a winner of Red Herring’s Asia 100. Deloitte ranked the Company as Fastest growing life sciences company in India.

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About International Finance Corporation:

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services.

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