Terrapin Technologies Inc. completed a private placement Tuesdaythat raised $5 million, giving the South San Francisco company$18.2 million in financing since its founding in 1986.Oxford Bioscience Partners of Boston invested in Terrapin for thefirst time and was the lead placement agent. Other investors, all ofwhich contributed previously, were Burr, Egan, Deleage; Weiss,Peck & Greer; Delphi Bioventures; Alpha Partners; and Sofinnova.Terrapin will use the money to continue research and preclinicaldevelopment of its two lead compounds, TER286 and TER199, andto continue building a compound library for its TRAP technology.TER286, an anti-tumor agent, targets elevated levels of glutathioneS-transferases (GSTs), believed to be associated with most tumors.Terrapin already has verified anti-tumor activity in animal models,Reinaldo Gomez, president and CEO of Terrapin, told BioWorld.TER286 stimulates, rather than depresses, bone marrow granulocytemacrophage (GM) progenitors, Gomez said. TER199 is the part ofthe TER286 molecule responsible for stimulation of the GMprogenitors, but has no anti-tumor activity. Gomez said it may beuseful in conjunction with currently used anti-tumor agents.Both agents are targeted to be taken into clinical trials by the end of1995, he said, adding: "We would immensely prefer to go into thisexercise with a pharmaceutical partner."The GST program is the lead technology coming out of thecompany's TRAP technology, which identifies lead molecules bytesting their binding affinity with a range of other proteins. It alsocan be used to predict the binding properties of drug candidates inchemical libraries. _ Jim Shrine
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