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Gryphon Investors Recapitalizes Synteract and Vince & Associates

SAN FRANCISCO--(Business Wire)-- Gryphon Investors announced today that it led the simultaneous recapitalization of Synteract, Inc. ("Synteract") and Vince & Associates Clinical Research ("VNA") in partnership with management and Celerity Partners. Both Synteract and VNA provide outsourced pharmaceutical services to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The management of Synteract and VNA will remain in place and become meaningful shareholders of Synteract Corporation, the newly-formed holding company that will now own both businesses. Celerity Partners, which previously invested in Synteract in June 2006 and VNA in November 2007, will remain a shareholder through Synteract Corporation. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based in Carlsbad, California, Synteract is a leading provider of CRO (contract research organization) services, primarily to biotechnology and medical device companies, and has specific expertise in conducting clinical trials for oncology and central nervous system drugs. Founded in 1995 by Ellen Morgan and Russell Holmes, Synteract provides a full service CRO offering, primarily for Phase I-III clinical trials in the U.S. and internationally. Synteract recently opened an office in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park to support its East Coast and international clients.

Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Vince & Associates Clinical Research is one of the leading providers of clinical trials site services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Since its founding by Dr. Bradley Vince in 2001, VNA has grown to become one of the leading clinical trial services companies in the U.S. VNA specializes in central nervous system trials and sleep disorders research and conducts Phase I-IV clinical trials in a variety of different therapeutic areas with particular strength in recruiting challenging subject populations. It recently expanded its Phase I trial capabilities by opening a dedicated Phase I facility.

Ellen Morgan, who will remain CEO of Synteract, Inc., stated, "We are excited about our partnership with Gryphon and the opportunity it affords us to deepen the services we provide to our clients both in the U.S. and internationally. We look forward to expanding our relationship with VNA in the future, particularly with regard to central nervous system trials." Brad Vince, who will remain CEO of VNA, commented, "We could not be happier to be partnering with Gryphon, and we believe that their capital and expertise will allow VNA to build upon its historical success in providing Phase I-IV clinical trials services. In addition, we are excited about working more closely with Synteract in the future and utilizing our site expertise to enhance the services Synteract provides to its clients."

Nick Orum, a Partner at Gryphon and head of its Business Services Group, said, "This investment is the culmination of a year-long effort by Gryphon to become an active participant in the dynamic, growing field of outsourced drug development services. Both Synteract and VNA are true leaders in their specialty areas, delivering valuable, highly-differentiated services to their customers." Alex Earls, a Principal at Gryphon, added, "The terrific management of these companies has built businesses that are well-positioned to continue capitalizing on the rapid growth in demand for their pharmaceutical research and development services. We are delighted to become their lead financial partner." 

"We are excited about partnering with Gryphon Investors whose capital and operating resources will enable us to advance this important strategy much faster than we could on our own," said Steve Adamson, Managing Partner of Celerity Partners.

Edgemont Capital Partners, a leading healthcare investment banking firm to life sciences and pharmaceutical companies, acted as financial advisor to Gryphon Investors.

About Gryphon Investors
San Francisco-based Gryphon Investors focuses on leveraged acquisitions of, and growth investments in, middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. As manager of approximately $1 billion in cumulative equity commitments, Gryphon has an extensive track record of investing $25 to $75 million of its own capital in companies with sales ranging from $25 to $250 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon's capital, professional resources and significant financial and operational expertise. Visit www.gryphoninvestors.com for more information.

About Celerity Partners
Celerity Partners is a private equity fund whose objective is to build businesses in partnership with management. Since its inception in September 1995, Celerity has invested in over 60 companies with an aggregate transaction value of $2.5 billion. Celerity has offices in Los Angeles and Menlo Park, California. Visit www.celeritypartners.com for more information.

Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc.
Caroline Luz, 203-656-2829
caroline@blicksilverpr.com

Copyright Business Wire 2008

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