By Mary Welch

Delsys Pharmaceutical Corp. raised $14.5 million in a private placement to advance its delivery system for solid oral-dose drugs.

"We're expecting that we can bring our Accudep technology to the market in two years," said Martyn Greenacre, president and CEO of Princeton, N.J.-based Delsys.

Accudep is an electrostatic dry powder process that deposits a drug's active ingredient onto a variety of surfaces, thus cutting down on excipients and eliminating traditional pharmaceutical manufacturing procedures for powder mixing and blending, granulation and drying, lubrication, compression and coating.

Greenacre said the technology will "revolutionize" development and manufacturing of solid oral dose drugs. The process allows for more precise deposition of the drug's active ingredient and faster production rate, along with better control of hygiene and reduced manufacturing space.

Several Partnerships In Place

In April, following Delsys' 1997 collaborations with SmithKline Beecham plc, of London, and Glaxo Wellcome plc, of London, the company formed a $28 million partnership with the Parke-Davis division of Warner-Lambert Co., of Morris Plains, N.J., to develop Accudep for use in a number of Parke-Davis compounds. From Parke-Davis, Delsys could receive research and development support and milestone payments for multiple projects, as well as royalties.

In July, Elan Corp. plc, of Dublin, made a $3 million equity investment in Delsys and formed an alliance to develop and commercialize oral controlled-release pharmaceuticals.

"There is a lot of interest because the advantages are obvious," Greenacre said.

Delsys also is developing a multi-dose dry powder inhaler for delivering what the company says is precisely measured quantities of drug to patients' lungs. The drug is administered without excipients, and is not reliant on the strength of the patient's breathing.

Investors who participated in the placement include HealthCare Ventures, of Princeton, N.J.; Rho Management, of New York; and Hudson Trust, also of New York. New investors include CenterPoint Ventures, of Austin, Texas, and PrismVenture Partners, of Westwood, Mass. *