Washington Editor

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. raised $25 million in a private placement of preferred stock, providing it with sufficient funding for the next three years.

The San Diego-based company discovers small-molecule drug candidates using its proprietary chemical-genomics platform. Much of the company's work is in Parkinson's disease, chronic pain, psychosis and glaucoma.

"I think it is important to note that Acadia is much more than a couple of molecules," Thomas Aasen, the company's chief financial officer, told BioWorld Today. "We have a very broad portfolio and several additional programs in preclinical testing. We also discovered novel chemistries for a wide range of drug targets both internally and through successful collaborations, two with Allergan Inc. [of Irvine, Calif.] and one with Amgen Inc. [of Thousand Oaks, Calif.]."

In its most advanced internal programs, Acadia is evaluating ACP-103, a small molecule, for induced dysfunctions in Parkinson's disease. Currently in Phase I, ACP-103 is expected to enter Phase II later this year. Aasen said Acadia believes ACP-103 may be useful in other indications as well.

Another candidate, ACP-102, a G protein-coupled receptor agonist, is expected to enter clinical trials shortly in chronic pain, Aasen said.

Regarding the funding, Aasen said Acadia is pleased to have attracted such a syndicate of investors, particularly during challenging market conditions. "Acadia is entering an exciting period with a series of key value-driving events. We anticipate over the next one to two years, this financing will provide a solid base of capital to allow us to aggressively pursue these milestones."

The financing was led by Oxford Bioscience Partners, of Westport, Conn., and included investments from OrbiMed Advisors LLC, of New York; Federated Kaufmann Fund, of New York; LD Pensions, of Copenhagen, Denmark; Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management LLC, of Boston; ABN AMRO Ventures, of the Netherlands; Carnegie Fund II Biotechbridge, of Sweden; and Dansk Kapitalanlaeg Aktieselskab, of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Acadia employs 100 people and has offices in both San Diego and Copenhagen. Founded in 1997, the company has raised $80 million to date (mainly through three financings).

In other business on Friday, Acadia said it named Alan Walton, senior general partner of Oxford Bioscience Partners and chairman of Oxford Bioscience Corp., to its board of directors.