U.K.-based Oxford GlycoSystems Ltd., a 7-year-old spin-off fromOxford University involved in glycobiology research, raised $7.3million in a private financing and expects its business to reach thebreak-even point by the end of 1996.

Geoff Brooker, chief financial officer of the Oxford, England-basedcompany, said the funding, Oxford GlycoSystems' fourth round offinancing, was "broadly balanced with new investors and existingshareholders."

E.M. Warburg, Pincus and Co., of New York, a new shareholder inOxford GlycoSystems, was the lead investor in the $7.3 millionfinancing.

"Our business as a whole is driving toward profitability," Brookersaid. "This new financing will see us through to break-even by theend of next year."

Oxford GlycoSystems was founded in 1988 to commercializecarbohydrate-related technologies invented at Oxford University.

The company makes instruments and biochemicals for scientistsworking with glycoproteins and complex carbohydrates. It also isinvolved in development of carbohydrate-based therapeutics.

"We're in negotiations with a number of pharmaceutical firms fordrug research," Brooker said. "We're using our carbohydrateexpertise to aid the drug-discovery process in collaboration withother companies," he said, adding that Oxford GlycoSystems doesnot intend to develop and market drugs itself.

One company program involves carbohydrate-based inhibitors ofselectin-mediated cell adhesion to treat inflammatory diseases.Oxford GlycoSystems had been working with London-basedSmithKline Beecham plc on the research, but that collaboration hasended. SmithKline's venture capital group, S.R. One, which wasamong the original shareholders in Oxford GlycoSystems, continuesto be a major investor and participated in the current financing round.

Brooker said Oxford GlycoSystems is proceeding with the researchon inflammatory diseases and also is targeting cancer.

To enhance its biochemical products sales, Oxford GlycoSystems inFebruary purchased the electrophoresis business of Millipore Corp.,in Bedford, Mass.

The addition of the electrophoresis technology, Brooker said, givesOxford GlycoSystems the instruments to go from preparing aglycoprotein sample to separating carbohydrates from proteins tosequencing carbohydrates for specific molecular structures.

Brooker said Oxford GlycoSystems has 325 biochemical products onthe market for use in glycobiology, which involves the study of thefunction of glycoproteins and carbohydrates and their interaction withother proteins. n

-- Charles Craig

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