Houghten Pharmaceuticals Inc. raised $8.5 million byissuing a fourth round of preferred stock to new andexisting investors, led by the venture capital firm, InnoCal.Houghten president and CEO Robert Whitehead said themoney will be used to finance early stage human clinicaltrials of the private company's lead product, HP 228, and toexpand discovery of small molecule compounds fromHoughten's chemical combinatorial libraries. HP 228, asmall molecule compound, is in Phase I safety studies forinflammation and pain.In addition to InnoCal, of Costa Mesa, Calif., new investorsinclude another California-based venture capital firm,Forrest Binkley & Brown, and Johnson and JohnsonDevelopment Corp., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, ofNew Brunswick, N.J."I'm pleased we were able to continue to enlist financingfrom former investors and attract new investors in today'svery difficult financing environment," Whitehead said.Last week, Houghten signed a research and licensingagreement with Northwest Neurologic Inc., of Portland,Ore., to develop drugs for treatment of inflammatorydisease and pigmentation disorders.Houghten also has corporate agreements with AmericanCyanamid Co., of Wayne, N.J., Procter & Gamble Co., ofCincinnati, and Chiron Inc., of Emeryville, Calif. _Charles Craig

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