Vanguard Medica Ltd. raised $17.9 million in a privatefinancing round that will help the company continue todevelop product candidates it gets from others.

The Guildford, England, company raised $9 millioninitially in April 1993, and brought in another $5.5million in September 1994. Vanguard now has about $25million, which should last two to three years, thecompany's president and CEO, Robert Mansfield, toldBioWorld.

He said Vanguard has switched its focus, which originallywas to take over development of compounds that othercompanies had abandoned. Now, Mansfield said,Vanguard also is implementing alternative strategies,such as taking over development of compounds and usingcontract research organizations and its own money tomove the products forward.

Vanguard currently is working on four compounds, oneof which is being developed with SmithKline Beechamplc and is in Phase I trials for migraine. Another two orthree compounds are expected to be added to Vanguard'sportfolio in the next year, Mansfield said.

None of Vanguard's products is derived frombiotechnology, but Mansfield said that may changeshortly. On his itinerary for a U.S. visit in two weeks isdiscussions with a "variety of biotechnology companies.We're trying to match our experience in drugdevelopment with the opportunities presented by start-upcompanies that don't have the big corporate partner."

Vanguard was founded by the former heads of research atseven large pharmaceutical companies. Investors in the$17.9 million financing round included 3i Group plc, ofLondon; Chemical Ventures Partners, of New York;Electra Investment Trust plc, of London; SchroderVentures, of Boston, Allstate Venture Capital, ofChicago; Biotechnology Investments Ltd., of London;Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co., of San Francisco; AdventLtd., of London; Alta Berkeley, of London; MedicalScience Partners, of Boston; TVM Techno VentureManagement, of Munich, Germany; Finovelec, of Paris;and Advent International, of Boston.

-- Jim Shrine

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.