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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional
Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN ORANGE, RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNARDINO
AND VENTURA COUNTIES

Sources Tell of Discord, Money Woes at Firm

March 08, 2000

ORANGE COUNTY — Biofem Inc., the Irvine drug company whose chief executive was shot last week by an assailant and whose co-founder committed suicide days later, might have had money problems and experienced at least one major disagreement between its co-founders, sources close to the company said.

"Until the recent news event, I had never heard of them," said Harry Lambert, managing director of Innocal, a Costa Mesa venture capital firm with $170 million under management. "Frankly, nobody I know in the industry had ever heard of them."

Biofem received no venture capital dollars between its founding in 1994 and 1999, according to the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Besides financial problems, Biofem may have been riven by personal disagreements. Chief executive James Patrick Riley and Dr. Larry C. Ford, whom police had considered a possible suspect in a plot to murder Riley, were at odds over the direction of the company, Doyle said. In mid-1999, Riley opposed funding clinical trials in Europe, while Ford favored them.

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