Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc. raised $26 million in a Series C financing to advance development of its diagnostic molecular imaging compounds for neurological disorders.

Avid, of Philadelphia, has five imaging compounds in clinical development, and recently announced initial positive results on AV-1, its lead compound for imaging amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's disease patients.

It is developing products for imaging with both positron emission tomography and single photon computed tomography, and has a collaboration with Bayer Schering Pharma AG, of Berlin, to develop its first PET molecular imaging agent for Alzheimer's disease.

In addition, Avid is conducting clinical studies on a pipeline of next-generation PET and SPECT agents.

The financing was co-led by AllianceBernstein LP and Safeguard Scientifics Inc. Additional funding was provided by previous Avid investors, including Pfizer Strategic Investments Group, the investment group of Pfizer Inc.; Lilly Ventures, the venture arm of Eli Lilly and Co.; RK Venture Group; and BioAdvance, the Biotechnology Greenhouse of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Conatus Brings In Another $22M

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. completed the $22 million second closing of its $27.5 million Series A financing round announced in January. The closing is associated with the achievement of a preclinical milestone with CTS-1027, its drug candidate for liver damage.

Proceeds will be used for multiple Phase II studies of CTS-1027 in patients with liver disease.

The drug initially will be evaluated in patients infected with the hepatitis C virus who have failed existing treatments, a trial expected to begin at the end of 2007. Conatus licensed CTS-1027 from F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, in November.

Investors in the financing were Aberdare Ventures, Advent Venture Partners, Bay City Capital and Gilde Healthcare Partners.

San Diego-based Conatus was founded by executives from Idun Pharmaceuticals Inc. in July 2005 following the sale of Idun to Pfizer Inc. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 25, 2005.)

In other financing news:

• ThromboGenics NV, of Leuven, Belgium, raised €23.9 million (US$32.4 million) through a private placement of 2.21 million shares at €10.80 per share. In conjunction with the deal, existing shareholders Biggar Ltd. and three others sold about 2.95 million shares at the same price. KBC Securities acted as lead manager and was assisted by Kempen & Co. Money will be applied to programs at ThromboGenics, including lead product microplasmin, which is being evaluated in several Phase II trials in eye disorders and vascular occlusive diseases.

• Allon Therapeutics Inc., of Vancouver, British Columbia, entered into a bought-deal financing agreement with a syndicate of Canadian securities dealers under which the syndicate agreed to purchase 12.5 million units at C$1.20 per unit, resulting in gross proceeds of C$15 million (US$13.6 million). Each unit consists of one common share and half a warrant. Each two-year whole warrant will entitle the holder to purchase one common share at C$1.65. Allon is developing neuroprotective drugs against conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, cognitive impairment, stroke and neuropathy. The deal is expected to close later this month.

• Diamics Inc., of Novato, Calif., closed on an undisclosed convertible debt financing, which it said would be its last round before an expected $8 million Series A equity funding. The company is developing products for cancer screening and diagnostics.

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