By Karen Pihl-Carey

In its sixth and largest financing round, Adolor Corp. raised $36.6 million with a private placement of preferred stock among new and existing investors.

The Malvern, Pa.-based company, which had plans to go public earlier this year, intends to use proceeds for the further development of ADL 8-2698, an orally administered, gut-restricted narcotic antagonist.

"We will use the proceeds to advance the two clinical development programs for ADL 8-2698 into Phase III clinical trials for post-operative ileus and opioid bowel dysfunction," said Peter Schied, chief financial officer at Adolor. "Also, we will use the capital to advance the several pain management clinical programs that are in Phase I and II."

With about $10 million of cash on hand added to the $36.6 million financing, Adolor has more than two years of burn, Schied said.

Pacific Growth Equities Inc., of San Francisco, managed the offering.

New investor MPM Capital LP, of Cambridge, Mass., led the financing, which also included new investors The Sprout Group, of Menlo Park, Calif.; Zesiger Capital Group, of New York; Lombard Odier & Cie, of Geneva, Switzerland; and The Special Situations Fund.

"The new investors in this round are some of the most knowledgeable and sophisticated biotech investors in the space," Schied told BioWorld Today. "It's a very strong message about the forward values of this company."

Existing investors included Alta Partners, of San Francisco; ARCH Venture Partners, of Chicago; OrbiMed Advisors, of New York; and S.R. One Ltd. and TL Ventures, both of Wayne, Pa.

ADL 8-2698 is in three Phase II/III trials for opioid bowel dysfunction, as well as a Phase II trial in post-operative ileus. It also is being tested in Phase I for narcotic-induced nausea. Behind its lead product candidate, Adolor's ADL 10-0101, a peripherally restricted kappa opioid analgesic, is in Phase II to treat visceral and post-surgical pain; and ADL 2-1294, a topical peripheral opioid anti-hyperalgesic, is in Phase II to treat inflammatory dermal pain and itch.

In the preclinical stage, Adolor's second-generation kappa agonists to ADL 10-0101 are being tested for treating systemic inflammatory pain, Schied said.

In February, Adolor filed for an initial public offering to raise between $72 million and $84 million, but later postponed the IPO until market conditions improved. (See BioWorld Today, Feb. 9, 2000, p. 1.)

"We could come back to the IPO market when we feel that we would get what we consider to be an appropriate valuation," Schied said. "This private placement gives us the option of selecting the right timing."

Adolor's last private placement in January raised $12.3 million. (See BioWorld Today, Jan. 21, 2000, p. 1.)

Since its inception in 1994, Adolor has raised $81.6 million in six financing rounds.

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