Hedral Therapeutics Inc., a start-up biotechnology company inPortland, Ore., said Friday it finalized its first round of financing andalso signed a licensing agreement to develop a new generation ofantiviral agents.Financing was provided by ICOS Corp., of Bothell, Wash., whereHedral's president and chief scientist, James Hicks, previously workedas senior scientific director of genetics. The exclusive licensingagreement was signed with Oregon Health Sciences University(OHSU) in Portland, which will get a combination of royalties andHedral stock.Janice LeCocq, executive vice president of finance and administrationat ICOS, wouldn't reveal the financing amount. But she said, "Wethink it's enough to give him a start so he can get things in place whilehe looks for his first round of venture financing."We think (Hicks) is a very talented guy with a good eye for promisingtechnologies," she told BioWorld. "It was a way for us to see someinteresting technology developed and to support a guy who made acontribution to us."Hedral's first products will be based on the antiviral technologydiscovered by Hicks' co-founders, Gary Thomas of the VollumInstitute for Advanced Biological Studies and Jay Nelson, OHSUprofessor of molecular microbiology and immunology. LeCocq andGeorge Rathmann, ICOS' chairman and CEO, will sit on Hedral'sboard of directors. _ Jim Shrine

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