WASHINGTON _ Connective Therapeutics Inc. has completed asecond round of venture financing, adding $11.8 million to itscoffers.

Lead investors in the current round include Domain Associates,Biotechnology Investments Ltd. and The Sprout Group. Soffinova,Lease Management Services, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byersand Sierra Ventures also participated.

The privately held, Palo Alto, Calif.-based company completed itsfirst round of venture financing in late 1993 and early 1994, raisingabout $5.4 million. Kleiner, Perkins and Sierra Ventures alsoparticipated in that round. Currently, Connective employs 27 people.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, Connectivecompleted its new round of investment "at a step-up in valuation" tothe previous offering, although the price per share was not disclosedfor either. Domain Associates general partner Brian Dovey and SierraVentures partner Robert Curry will join the company's board ofdirector as a result of the financing.

Connective is focused on developing drugs for connective tissuedisorders by attempting to control cells that produce excessive orabnormal connective tissue and to modulate the immune response.Last November, the firm initiated a Phase I study of relaxin, a naturalhormone that regulates collagen production, for the treatment ofscleroderma, a disorder in which excessive collagen hardens the skinand internal organs.

Relaxin was licensed by Connective from South San Francisco-basedGenentech Inc. in 1993. Last year, the licensing agreement wasextended to give Connective rights to the drug for treatment ofcollagen remodeling in pregnant women and other connective tissueproblems, such as scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis,periodontal diseases, ulcers, scars, poor wound healing and fibroticdisorders. Genentech retains certain rights to develop and market thedrug in the reproductive field. n

-- Lisa Piercey Washington Editor

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