By Randall Osborne

Through a European private placement, Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. added $10.7 million to its coffers for preclinical discovery programs and for finding new ways to use its partnered technology platform.

The financing puts the San Diego-based functional genomics company's cash on hand at about $20 million, enough to operate for another three years, said Leonard Borrmann, CEO.

"We had two goals," Borrmann said. "Number one was to raise $10 million, and number two was to diversify our investor base throughout Scandinavia and Europe, which we did."

The Series D preferred stock financing included Swedish institutional investors and was led by ABN AMRO Ventures B.V., of Amsterdam.

Previous Acadia investors who took part in the round, all of Denmark, include Dansk Kapitalanlaeg A/S, of Copenhagen; Kommunernes Pensionsforsikring A/S (Municipal Employees Life Insurance Co.), of Valby; and Lonmodtagernes Dyrtidsfond (LD Pensions), of Copenhagen.

"We have a subsidiary in Denmark [Acadia A/S], and that's the basis for the tremendous investor interest there," Borrmann said. "All of our new investors are not Danish."

Last fall, Acadia nailed down a four-year collaboration worth up to $68.5 million in equity investments and milestones with Allergan Inc., of Irvine, Calif. Borrmann was vice president of business development for Allergan at the time, and helped negotiate the deal. (See BioWorld Today, Sept. 26, 1997, p. 1.)

Under the terms of that partnership, Acadia is making available its Receptor Selection and Amplification Technology (R-SAT) to identify drugs centered on five potential drug targets, including the prostanoid and alpha adrenergic receptors, both involved in glaucoma. The prostanoid also is involved in osteoporosis, and the alpha adrenergic receptor could be important in neuropsychiatric diseases.

Three other receptor targets were not disclosed. Acadia gets up to $12.5 million for the first product developed for each of the five targets.

Borrmann said the partnership has met expectations and is proceeding "very well."

R-SAT is designed to characterize drug receptor pharmacology; screen target genes against potential ligands; screen receptor genes; and characterize "orphan receptors," whose biological function or ligand is unknown.

Acadia also has a partnership with ArQule Inc., of Medford, Mass., under which ArQule is using its Mapping Array program with R-SAT to develop libraries of small organic compounds for screening against targets identified by Acadia.

In the past 18 months, Acadia has raised $34 million, including a $7 million debt facility from VaekstFonden, the Danish Business Development Finance Agency. *