French company Genset said Wednesday that it completed a privateplacement of $13.2 million with investors from France, Japan andthe U.S.

It's the fourth round of financing for the Paris-based company thatwas founded in 1989. The money is expected to finance the companythrough 1996, a spokeswoman for California-based subsidiaryGenset Corp. told BioWorld.

Major investors included Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co., of SanFrancisco; Capital Sante of Paris, F.I.M.D., of Paris; AFM-Genethon, of Paris; JAFCO, of Tokyo; Oxford Bioscience Partners,of Los Angeles; Sofinnova, of Paris; and S.R. One Ltd., ofPhiladelphia. The company raised $7 million in its last financing inNovember 1992.

"In light of current, adverse market conditions, we are pleased tohave completed this very international financing and to have done soat a significant increase in value over our last round of financing,"Genset chairman and CEO Pascal Brandys said in a news release."We will be able to aggressively pursue our development oftherapeutics to intervene at the level of transcriptional regulation andour collaborative program with Genethon to systematically sequenceand analyze the regulatory regions of the human genome."

The company, which also sells oligonucleotides to research andcommercial laboratories, plans to use funds from the financing toexpand its marketing activities and its DNA production facilities,particularly in Asia.

Genset and Genethon, a non-profit research center in Evry, France,announced in June that they would jointly fund and operate alaboratory to sequence and analyze regulatory regions of thegenome. They hope to decipher the complete genome regulatorycode during the collaborative period, which runs through 1996.About 5 percent of genes are part of the regulatory code, whichactivates and triggers gene expression. n

-- Jim Shrine

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