Metra Biosystems announced on Monday that it has concludedits third round of private equity financing, raising $7 million.The funds will go toward the company's continueddevelopment of screening and monitoring tests for bone andcartilage diseases, including its Pyrilinks and Pyrilinks Dimmunoassays, which the company said can be used tomeasure bone resorption in osteoporitic patients.

In this latest round of financing, which began last October,Metra added Invesco, the Penn Janney Fund and GlenbrookPartners to its investors. All investors from the company'sprevious financing round also participated in this round. Theyinclude Alpha Partners, Aperture Associates, AssetManagement Co., Delphi Bio Ventures, Institutional VenturePartners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and the employeesof Metra.

The company develops products based on its pyridiniumcrosslinks technology, and has brought this technology intoseveral strategic alliances. Pyridinium crosslinks are bone-specific collagen markers that are released into the blood andurine during bone resorption. Earlier this month, the companylicensed its technology to Ciba Corning Diagnostics Corp., whichwill incorporate the technology into an automated diagnosticbone resorption test. Metra also has agreements with DiagnosticProducts Corp., Ciba Geigy Ltd., Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Ltd.,Dianon Systems and Hybritech.

The same technology is used in the Pyrilinks assays, which areon the market in Europe and currently under FDA review inthe U.S.

The company's last financing round, in February 1992, raised$6 million.

-- Karl A. Thiel Associate Editor

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